Comparative study of project-based learning and traditional lecture-tutorial teaching approaches in undergraduate engineering courses
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Project and/or problem based learning has been widely recognised as active, collaborative, cumulative and integrative learning approach that engages learners and centres on practical education. However, its widespread implementation in engineering curricula at Australian universities has not been realised due to a number of issues including resources required for large classes, teaching staff's reluctance to embrace it and students' learning styles, beliefs and expectations. On the other hand, traditional lecture-tutorial teaching approach is also criticised for being passive, surface learning and exam-focused. This study compares the data from students' actual performance, course evaluation and expectation in two large undergraduate courses over the last two years. This study is interesting in that both courses were taught by the same teaching staff using entirely two different learning and teaching approaches to the same cohort of students in the same semester within the same degree program. The analysis shows that there are significant differences between students' actual performance, course evaluation and expectation. Such conflicting differences might have negative impact on teaching staff who wish to adopt project and/or problem based learning in their undergraduate engineering courses.
Proceedings of the 2011 AAEE Conference
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Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy