Product development and project-based learning in Mechatronics, in the context of digitization and sustainability
Engineering projects affect many of the UN’s sustainability goals. The development and design of new products and systems using a circular economy perspective is an important challenge towards a more sustainable society. Product development projects have common process characteristics, but methodologies, tools and methods differ for developing hardware (mechanical and electrical) or developing software. In Mechatronics such methods need to be combined, and product development and project-based learning is well suited for teaching and learning within Mechatronics, in addition to technical specialization subjects within both mechanical, electrical and software engineering. It is also suited for developing consciousness for sustainability. At UiA project-based learning is a part of several courses. This article draw out some experiences from teaching two different project-based product development courses the last two years, one at Bachelor and one at Master level. The courses are viewed as products, and product development is used as methodology for developing teaching and learning as well. The aim is continuous improvement of the learning outcome of these courses. This is in accordance with the SoTL-approach, Scholarship of teaching and learning.
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