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An evaluation of a project-based learning initiative in engineering education

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Abstract:

Project-based learning (PBL) is a well-known methodology for engineering design education due to a number of benefits it is claimed to offer. This paper presents the initial offering of a first-year engineering PBL unit at Griffith University in Australia. An evaluation of student perceptions of the unit revealed that students generally enjoyed the experience, with the oral presentation aspect receiving the lowest satisfaction rating. There was no significant difference in the ratings between any demographic grouping, suggesting that all students were able to participate in, and experience, the unit in essentially the same way. The best aspects of the unit and those aspects needing improvement were similar to the findings of other investigations documented in the literature. It is proposed that future offerings of the unit will reduce the number of design projects from three to two per semester and will attempt more sophisticated individualisation of marks for group work activities.

Keywords: engineering education; evaluation; project-based learning

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03043797.2011.593095

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Teaching and Learning,Deakin University, Geelong, Australia 2: Griffith School of‘Engineering,Griffith University, Southport, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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