Modeling the Movement: A Challenge-Based Learning Course for Engineering Students

Esmeralda Campos, Carlos Eduardo Martinez-Torteya, Genaro Zavala

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Universities face challenges such as integrating a globalized world, the need for new competencies in the job market, new educational models, and technological advances that create societal concerns regarding traditional higher education. During the last few years, our institution, a large private multi-campus Mexican university, has been preparing for these new challenges changing the educational model from a traditional lecture-based to challenge-based learning with an emphasis on competency development. Entering the School of Engineering and Sciences, first-year students take the Modeling the Movement course, with the primary objective of introducing students to Newton's laws of motion from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines physics, mathematics, and computer science. We surveyed 533 students enrolled in the course. We present the course design, focusing on the challenge-based approach and interdisciplinarity. We report an overview of student satisfaction based on the achievement of competency development, the student's perception of the importance of physics, mathematics, and computer science in their professional practice, and their perceptions of difficulty and time demands. The overall results of the survey show a high level of student satisfaction. The students perceive that with the course, they developed the disciplinary and transversal competencies declared in the course objectives. They value the relevance of physics, mathematics, and computer science as an interdisciplinary aspect of the course and their professional practice. Their perception of difficulty and time demands is neutral.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 202328 Jun 2023


  • challenge-based learning
  • competency development
  • educational innovation
  • higher education
  • interdisciplinarity
  • physics education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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