Cooperative learning in a Soil Mechanics course at undergraduate level


The implementation of the Bologna Process enforced a significant change on traditional learning models, which were focused mainly on the transmission of knowledge. The results obtained in a first attempt at implementation of a cooperative learning model in the Soil Mechanics I course of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, are presented and discussed. The students were confronted with situations recreating a professional atmosphere in Geotechnics. Mandatory project team assignments to be prepared in groups were implemented, where each student had to fulfil specific and rotational roles, namely, laboratory /informatics technician, analyst, reporter and coordinator. To assess the implemented model, several strategies were used: students' feedback; marks monitoring; questionnaires.


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