Enhancement of Mechanical Engineering Degree through student design competition as added value. Considerations and viability
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AuthorJuan de Luna, Ana Magdalena de; Fernández del Rincón, Alfonso; Iglesias Santamaría, Miguel; García Fernández, Pablo (ingeniero); Díez Ibarbia, Alberto; Viadero Rueda, Fernando
This paper proposes using a student design competition as a learning tool in the Mechanical Engineering Degree for enhancing the general competences and motivation of the students, transferring theoretical knowledge to practical situations and bringing together all courses involved under a common framework. This constitutes an added value that the in-person universities should offer to their students as a consequence of the Bologna process and the raising of open online resources for self-learning. In order to assess the viability of this proposal, a pilot competition design activity (CDA) is presented using project-based learning methods during a Mechanism Theory course for sophomore students. Meanwhile, 27 participants of a 45-student course from a European university took part in the pilot CDA, which consisted of redesigning the motorbike rear suspension used in a student design competition. Participants also completed mid-term and final exams as well as a survey to get their perception of this activity. Based on the success of the pilot CDA, the authors are planning to implement the proposal, including similar CDAs in other Mechanical Engineering courses to use the competition as a link between them and to encourage students to participate on the competition.