Special Issue "Project Based Learning and Engineering Education"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2023 | Viewed by 1860

Special Issue Editor

Learning Systems Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
Interests: assessment and evaluation in STEM education; model-eliciting activities; teacher professional development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered approach to education whereby learners are collaboratively engaged in investigating a real-world problem or question. A distinguishing feature of PBL is the production of artifacts. These artifacts can include models, simulations, reports, videos, programs, or other shareable products. PBL is particularly suited to engineering education due to its similarities with the professional practice of engineers. At the university level, PBL can fulfil an important role in preparing engineers for the demands of professional practice. At the pre-college level, PBL can be used as a means of implementing engineering in the classroom and engaging students in integrated STEM learning. Research into PBL in engineering education is still evolving, and as such, this Special Issue aims to address advancements in research, theory, policy, and practice with regard to PBL in engineering education.

Topics of interest to this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Instructor preparation and training in implementing PBL in the classroom;
  • Meta analyses or syntheses of PBL in engineering education;
  • Authenticity in PBL tasks;
  • Addressing the needs of diverse learners;
  • Affective outcomes;
  • Assessment and evaluation methods;
  • Technology integration.

Dr. Melissa Dyehouse
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • engineering education
  • project-based learning
  • STEM education
  • student-centered learning

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Replacing Exams with Project-Based Assessment: Analysis of Students’ Performance and Experience
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13040408 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1554
This study seeks to investigate whether project-based assignments can lead to better student performance and learning experience compared to traditional examinations. In an engineering course of soil mechanics, the traditional mid-semester and final exams were replaced by project work which was related to [...] Read more.
This study seeks to investigate whether project-based assignments can lead to better student performance and learning experience compared to traditional examinations. In an engineering course of soil mechanics, the traditional mid-semester and final exams were replaced by project work which was related to a real-life site investigation. Student performance was evaluated on the basis of student marks whilst student feedback was analysed to understand student experience with project-based assignments. The results indicated that the student average mark for the projects was greater than the average mark for the exams. In addition, their learning experience improved after the exams were replaced with the project-based assignments because students were able to see practical applications of the course content. However, a few issues, including feedback to students delivered at the end of the term, increased teacher’s workload, and the effect of COVID were also identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Based Learning and Engineering Education)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Instill mindsets for integrative systems and design through a project-based first-year engineering course
Authors: -
Affiliation: -
Abstract: Teaching students to think in systems and design sometimes ends up being procedural and deductive, while overlooking fundamental mindsets towards tackling wicked problems. Conformity to rigid procedures loses the intention of creative problem-solving. This paper proposes a project-based approach to instill the value of integrative systems and design and unlearn some of the traditional perceptions of linear and siloed thinking through a first-year engineering course. Guided by three learning theories: cognitive apprenticeship, distributed cognition, and constructionism, the instructional design was implemented in a 13-week 3-credit course with focuses on design, systems, and integration for real-world applications. Using class observation, focus-group interview and comparison with related courses, the instructional design was evaluated. Students indicated perceived development on macro components of competent behaviors in engineering and technology education such as adaptive reasoning and productive disposition. Challenges faced by the instructors and recommended practices are discussed. Currently work-in-progress, instruments for measuring changes in competence behavior are under development. This paper will be of interest to educators seeking new methods in engineering and design education.

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