Frontiers in Computer Education Wang (ed.)
© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-1-138-02797-8
The teaching reform and practice of hydraulics based on the
Problem-Based Learning teaching mode
J.C. Liu, Y.W. Shi & J. Zhao
School of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Changchun Institute of Technology, Changchun, China
ABSTRACT: Problem-based learning is the learning and teaching mode. The paper introduces the PBL teach-
ing mode and it’s application in hydraulics. PBL can reform the classroom teaching mode, encourage teachers’
classroom changes, and is helpful for students to construct new knowledge. It resolves the lack of traditional
teaching mode. The paper takes the cohesion and energy dissipation of downstream drainage buildings as an
example, this fully demonstrates the application of PBL teaching mode in hydraulics teaching, it also provides
food for thought for other courses on the reform of water resources and hydropower engineering.
Keywords: Hydraulics; teaching mode reform; PBL teaching mode
Hydraulics is an important professional foundation
course in the water conservancy specialties of water
resources and hydropower engineering, hydrology and
water resources engineering, and agricultural water
conservancy engineering. The hydraulics content is
complex and huge which consists of water statics,
fluid movement of the beam theory, energy dissipa-
tion of downstream drainage buildings, seepage, and
high speed water flow. On the one hand, it involves
many calculations of building of water conservancy
projects, the application of many theories and for mula,
and a lot of half experience and half theory formula.
On the other hand, PBL haves clear engineering point,
the energy dissipation of downstream drainage build-
ings, seepage, high speed water flow, etc all can be
used it to solve the practical problems.
At present, the hydraulics courses mainly adopt the
traditional teaching method, such as classroom teach-
ing, laboratory experiments, and the combination of
multimedia and blackboard. The traditional teaching
method is based on the textbook content, teachers
are always positioned at the centre of organizations,
and they organize and monitor the whole process of
teaching activities, while students can only passively
accept, digest and understand the content. For the tra-
ditional teaching method, students don’t search the
course content which is related to the literature and
engineering case beforehand, when the actual prob-
lems appear, they have no idea what to do, so it is
difficult for them to adapt to the needs of the devel-
opment of the university education system, and their
innovative spirit and practice ability is difficult to put
to use.
What kind of teaching method can be used to
improve the applied scientific research innovation
ability of students in institutions of higher educa-
tion? The diversified teaching method reformation
is reported in literature from domestic and overseas
institutions, however these methods cannot change the
dominant role of the teacher and the passive role of stu-
dents in teaching.As for the learning teaching mode, its
kernel is to place the learners at the centre, the learners
are the main body of information gathering, process-
ing, and knowledge of autonomous refactoring instead
of passively accepting state of external stimulus.
The role of the teachers is transformed from that of a
person imparting knowledge to that of the organizers,
helpers, and promoters of a student’s learning process,
maximizing a student’s enthusiasm, initiative, and
ultimately inspiring learners’ creativity. This method
which integrate the PBL teaching idea has been applied
to the hydraulics teaching reform attempts in the
class of 2010 students in our school, the education
reformation achieved a very good result.
In 1969 the United States professor of neurology
HowardBarrows at McMaster University in Canada
founded the PBL teaching mode, as a kind of brand-
new teaching mode, which was based on the construc-
tivism learning theory. Dewey’s pragmatism education
theory and Bruner’s discovery learning theory. The
kernel of PBL is case teaching, it takes the student
as the main body, and teacher as the leader. We can
appreciate from B. Hs and Y.B. Du’s literatures.

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