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: closed (20 October 2023) | Viewed by 6946

Special Issue Editor


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Guest 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

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Keywords

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

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 6523 KiB  
Article
A Primer for Design and Systems Thinkers: A First-Year Engineering Course for Mindset Development
by Jac Ka Lok Leung, Davy Tsz Kit Ng and Chi-Ying Tsui
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14010086 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
Teaching students to think in complex systems and design is presumably intricate, creative, and nonlinear. However, due to the overwhelming number of standardized tools and frameworks, the process sometimes ends up being procedural and deductive. Conformity to rigid procedures loses the intention of [...] Read more.
Teaching students to think in complex systems and design is presumably intricate, creative, and nonlinear. However, due to the overwhelming number of standardized tools and frameworks, the process sometimes ends up being procedural and deductive. Conformity to rigid procedures loses the intention of creative problem-solving towards tackling wicked problems. This paper proposes a project-based approach to instill the mindsets for those who aspire to be design and systems thinkers through a first-year engineering course. Using the ADDIE model, the instructional design was implemented in three modules focusing on design, systems, and integration for real-world applications. The instructional design was evaluated via course feedback surveys and focus-group interviews. Students indicated positive impacts on creative mindsets, habits of systems thinkers, and interdisciplinary awareness. However, negative comments about the course arrangement such as heavy workload and disconnection between topics were identified. Suggestions from students, challenges faced by the instructors, and recommended practices are discussed. In times of increasing need to reform higher education due to digitization and artificial intelligence, this study provides a timely investigation of a new project-based and mindset-focused pedagogy in design and systems thinking education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Based Learning and Engineering Education)
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18 pages, 1977 KiB  
Article
Model-Eliciting Activities: Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Integrated STEM
by Cathrine Maiorca, Jacob Martin, Megan Burton, Thomas Roberts and L. Octavia Tripp
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121247 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1062
Abstract
This study examines how experiencing model-eliciting activities (MEAs) influenced elementary pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of an engineering-based approach to integrated STEM. The participants included 17 elementary PSTs from large public universities located in the southeastern and western regions of the United States. The [...] Read more.
This study examines how experiencing model-eliciting activities (MEAs) influenced elementary pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of an engineering-based approach to integrated STEM. The participants included 17 elementary PSTs from large public universities located in the southeastern and western regions of the United States. The participants engaged in MEA engineering-based integrated STEM learning experiences. The data included open-ended reflections about the experience. The reflections were coded deductively using the elements of the Equity-Oriented STEM Literacy Framework: dispositions, applicability and utility, empowerment, critical thinking and problem solving, identity development, and empathy. The findings indicate that when PSTs use engineering to teach mathematics and science through MEAs and approach integrated STEM with an equity focus, they increase their knowledge about the applicability and utility of STEM while simultaneously developing their identities as STEM teachers; this positively influences their dispositions towards STEM and empowers them to be teachers of STEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Based Learning and Engineering Education)
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10 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Replacing Exams with Project-Based Assessment: Analysis of Students’ Performance and Experience
by Ivan Gratchev
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13040408 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4344
Abstract
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)
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