For certain topics in the curriculum the pendulum of engineering education is swinging from a full focus on pure theory to a balance between theoretical analysis and solid experiences. Undergraduate students are required to obtain both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experiences to meet the need of job markets. Active learning/teaching has become a commonly-used instructional approach in response to this change of the balance. In the authors’ institute, the Design of Machine Elements (DOME) course has been used as a candidate for exploration on how to engage students in active learning in regular classroom settings through designed activities such as in-class-teams, think-pair-share, in-class-writing-assignments, problem-based learning, etc. If students are expected to perform well with open-ended and project-centered problems for their design courses and capstone senior design, then a pedagogical basis should be provided across the entire undergraduate design curriculum. This paper discusses how active learning/teaching techniques have been explored in teaching the course of Design of Machine Elements to build up such a basis. In this paper, active learning concepts applied in teaching the DOME course are discussed, including specific examples of integrating active learning techniques with traditional classroom lectures. Also presented are which active learning techniques have worked effectively, what experiences have been learned, and what issues need further improvements and exploration. In addition, the paper also discusses how course projects are assigned to line up with planned teaching and learning activities, and how project requirements have been designed to facilitate the integration of active learning techniques with instructional objectives. Anonymous student survey data and course assessments will be presented to show that these techniques indeed provide a promising solution to the integration of active learning/teaching methods into teaching the course of design of machine elements in the regular classroom setting.

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