Eco Car Problem-Based Learning Project in Second Life

  • Hideyuki Kanematsu
  • Dana M. Barry
Part of the Intelligent Systems Reference Library book series (ISRL, volume 91)


Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is important for engineering education as well as for creative engineering design. It provides students with challenging, ill-structured problems that relate to their daily lives. The students receive guidance from their instructors and work cooperatively in a group to seek solutions to the problems. PBL has been used to successfully carry out many experiments in the real world and is beneficial in the virtual world too. The virtual world is especially desirable for solving problems that are too dangerous, too time consuming, and too expensive for the real world. For example, it is ideal to use with a class project that requires the designing and building of safe, economical cars (eco cars) of the future. Student teams from the United States and Japan separately tackled this problem. They managed to design and build eco cars in Second Life (a three-dimensional virtual community) by using virtual objects called primitives [1, 2, 3].


  1. 1.
    Barry, D.M., Kanematsu, H., Fukumura, Y., Kobayashi, T., Ogawa, N., & Nagai, H. (2014). Problem-based learning activities in second life. International Journal of Modern Education Forum, 3(1).Google Scholar
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    Kanematsu, Hideyuki, Kobayashi, Toshiro, Ogawa, Nobuyuki, Barry, Dana M., Fukumura, Yoshimi, & Nagai, Hirotomo. (2013). Eco car project for Japan students as a virtual PBL class. Procedia Computer Science, 22, 828–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Barry, D.M., Kanematsu, H., Fukumura, Y., Kobayashi, T., Ogawa, N., & Nagai, H. (2012). Problem based learning for US and Japan students in a virtual environment. In T. Watanabe et al. (Eds.), Intelligent Interactive Multimedia Systems & Services, SIST 14 pp. 479–488. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Technology, Suzuka CollegeSuzukaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP)Clarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA

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