University of Limerick
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Engineering students’ perceptions of problem and project-based learning (PBL) in an online learning environment

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 08:30 authored by Sean O'ConnorSean O'Connor, Jason PowerJason Power, Nicolaas BlomNicolaas Blom, DAVID TANNERDAVID TANNER

Modern engineering curricula often rely on approaches such as problem and project-based learning (PBL) as a core teaching and learning strategy. With a growing need to move these student-centred active learning curricula to online and blended learning environments, it is essential that practitioners understand the impact that these different modes of delivery may have on student collaboration. This paper aims to identify factors that affect students’ perceptions of PBL in an online learning environment. This case study was carried out in an Irish university over a seven-week period with first-year engineering students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study utilised a questionnaire (n = 94) and semi-structured interviews (n = 7) to collect participant data. Qualitative data were analysed using Braun and Clark’s thematic analysis. The analysis identified 6 themes and 18 sub-themes that are linked to students’ perceptions of problem and project-based learning (PBL) in an online environment. The identified themes and sub-themes in this study are uniquely reported findings within the context of online PBL in engineering education



Australasian Journal of Engineering Education


Taylor & Francis Group

Other Funding information

Irish Research Council (IRC) under Grant number: [GOIPG/2021/352]

Sustainable development goals

  • (4) Quality Education

Department or School

  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering

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