Investigating the link between self directed learning readiness and project based learning outcomes: the case of international Masters Students in an engineering management course
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Modern learning approaches increasingly have fewer structured learning activities and more self directed learning tasks guided through consultation with academics. Such tasks are predominately project/problem based where the student is required to follow a freely guided road map to self discovery whilst simultaneously achieving desired learning outcomes for a particular course. However, many international students struggle to adjust to an Australian higher learning environment where they are being increasingly encouraged to undertake self directed learning (SDL). Thus, this paper proposes the concept that international students who have higher readiness for SDL gain greater learning outcomes from project based learning (PBL) approaches. To achieve this objective, a questionnaire survey of 26 students (65 per cent of class) completing an engineering management course was conducted. Linear regression analysis provided evidence that SDL readiness was a key enabler for achieving learning outcomes from PBL. In particular, having high self management skills was shown to be the most significant and reliable predictor for achieving learning outcomes from PBL. Through understanding students SDL readiness at the commencement of their engineering programs, academics can better tailor PBL support mechanisms to achieve desired learning outcomes.
European Journal of Engineering Education
© 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.