Applying problem-based training approach into the training
program on industrial ecology and environment
Charmondusit a and Kitikorn Charmondusit b*
and Academic Service Department, Faculty of Environment and
Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus,
Nakornpathom, 73170, Thailand.
Research and Training Center, Faculty of Environment and
Resource Studies, Mahidol University,
Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom, 73170, Thailand.
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
Tel: +662-4415000, Ext: 2309; Fax: +662-4419509-10
Received 23 July, 2012;
Accepted 14 August, 2012
The training program on industrial ecology and environment
hosted by Mahidol University is designed to provide an
understanding of the principles concepts and practice of
industrial ecology, which have direct benefits for the
sustainable development of industrial sectors in Asia. In
2011, for the first time, the problem-based training (PBT)
approach was used to design the course structure of the 3rd
international training course on industrial ecology. Three
modules, which are in-class learning, field study (learning
by doing), and group discussion (analysis and synthesize
idea), were offered as a framework for this course. Fourteen
participants from nine participating countries in South
Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East joined this
training program. Sustainability management of the Northern
Region Industrial Estate (NRIE) and community area were
delivered as a project study, which referred to the three
main issues: 1) water quality of the Kuang river, 2) soil
contaminated problem, and 3) community feedback to the NRIE.
The results from the training program revealed that
industrial activities in the NRIE did not affect the water
quality in the Kuang river and soil quality around NRIE
area. In addition, the local people who live within or near
that area have positive attitude towards the NRIE. This
training approach was a challenge for the majority of
participants who had not previously been exposed to it.
Participant’s feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Participant’s satisfaction level with the training program
had a mean score of 4.92 (out of 5) with all participants
agreeing or strongly agreeing that using the PBT methodology
can enhance the transdisciplinarity between academics and
practitioners, self-regulated learning, and collaboration.
Keywords: Industrial ecology, Problem based training,
Sustainability management, Eco-industrial estate.