Active learning in engineering education. A review of fundamentals, best practices and experiences

Marcela Hernández-de-Menéndez, Antonio Vallejo Guevara, Juan Carlos Tudón Martínez, Diana Hernández Alcántara, Ruben Morales-Menendez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Universities and international organizations are adopting and promoting Active Learning strategies, respectively. Reasons are varied, including that this approach has proven to prepare competitive students who are skilled to address the main problems of society once they enter the labor market. Active Learning is a student-centered-learning approach that involves the learner directly in the process. It consists of letting students be the main actors of the learning process by performing meaningful activities and critically thinking about what they are doing. In this research, a review of Active Learning is performed. The focus is on presenting concepts and practices central to Active Learning that leading universities are deploying, universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University and Aalborg University. Also, the authors describe in this paper a case from their experience with Active Learning techniques in specified areas of engineering education at Tecnologico de Monterrey. Results indicate that this approach supports the development of in-demand competencies such as Teamwork, Problem-solving and Analysis. In addition, students’ performance and retention rates are improved. In the engineering field, students can acquire and practice different technical skills under supervision. Active Learning is a very flexible approach that can be integrated in a gradual manner by any organization. The authors have constructed this research to be a useful guide to Active Learning practices. It can support engineering professors and people interested in knowing or adopting this approach for improving their students’ results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-922
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial and the technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico in the production of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Active learning in engineering education. A review of fundamentals, best practices and experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this