Problem Based Learning for US and Japan Students in a Virtual Environment

  • Dana M. Barry
  • Hideyuki Kanematsu
  • Yoshimi Fukumura
  • Toshiro Kobayashi
  • Nobuyuki Ogawa
  • Hirotomo Nagai
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 14)


Problem Based Learning (PBL) is important for engineering education and has been a tool for creative engineering design. It can enhance creativity and has been used to successfully carry out many experiments in the real world. Researchers in the US and Japan (the authors) are pursuing studies to determine the effectiveness of its use in a virtual environment, one with cutting-edge technology and opportunities for complementary activities between face to face learning and electronic learning. Here students can work from anywhere in the world, at any time, and at their own pace. For this project, student teams from the US and Japan were asked to solve problems in a virtual community. Each team worked independently on a different project. The US team designed and built a car for the future, while the Japan team focused on designing a safe way for using nuclear energy. A discussion about the US team’s successful project is provided.


Virtual Environment Virtual World Problem Base Learn Solar Panel Second Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana M. Barry
    • 1
  • Hideyuki Kanematsu
    • 2
  • Yoshimi Fukumura
    • 3
  • Toshiro Kobayashi
    • 4
  • Nobuyuki Ogawa
    • 5
  • Hirotomo Nagai
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP)Clarkson UniversityPotsdamUS
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringSuzuka National College of TechnologySuzukaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Management and Information Systems ScienceNagaoka University of TechnologyNagaokaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Electronics & Control EngineeringTsuyama National College of TechnologyTsuyamaJapan
  5. 5.Department of ArchitectureGifu National College of TechnologyGifuJapan
  6. 6.Water Cell Inc.NodaJapan

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