The paper describes an ongoing study based on the mandatory “Sanitary Engineering Basic Course” that was taught for third year environmental engineering students at the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway (NTNU) in the spring semesters of 1997, 1998 and 1999. The focus is on teaching and learning methodology (i.e. traditional individual frontal lecture-based versus project-based in groups). Experience shows that project-based learning (PBL) is a suitable teaching method. PBL challenges the students to stay active throughout the semester and thus results in higher learning efficiency. Simultaneously, both students and teachers need to use more time. Technical skills (“design calculations”) were not improved, but students clearly developed project management skills (communication, organisation, group work, etc.).

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