Work in progress: A constructivist didactic methodology for a humanoid robotics workshop
IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Seattle WA
This paper presents a constructivist methodology oriented to training Robotics in its wide sense, and its implementation in higher education. A humanoid robotics workshop is included as a part of the curriculum of `Industrial Robotics' in the Industrial Engineering. This workshop covers one third of the laboratory practices of this subject. A constructivist view for learning is adopted, whereby robotic technologies are not seen as mere tools, but rather as potential vehicles of new ways of thinking about teaching, learning and education at large. Students, in a constructivist learning environment, are invited to work on experiments and authentic problem-solving; with selective use of available resources according to their own interests, research and learning strategies. The authors, as trainers of this workshop, chose ROBONOVA humanoid robots, among other devices, which attempt to partner technology with ideas of constructivism. The materials used in the workshop offer building parts, sensors thus connecting a robot with the external environment and programming software with a simple graphical interface intended for the creation of robot behavioral movements. The idea is “learning by design”, which is central in the constructivist pedagogy introduced firstly by Resnick. In this workshop we corroborate this idea through the project-based learning approach in robotics. Learning tasks of the workshop are organized as projects (small and large) that encourage students to develop their own designs. Projects are either instructor led or completely arisen from students.