Engineering Students’ Approaches to Learning and Views on Collaboration: How do both Evolve in a PBL Environment and What are their Contributing and Constraining Factors?
Xiangyun Du 1 * , Usama Ebead 2, Saed Sabah 1, Jianping Ma 3, Khalid Kamal Naji 2
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1 College of Education, Qatar University, QATAR2 College of Engineering, Qatar University, QATAR3 Graduate School, Lanzhou University of Technology, CHINA* Corresponding Author


This study investigated the development of engineering students’ approaches to learning and views on collaboration in a PBL environment.

Material and methods:
An explanatory mixed research approach was employed with participants from four PBL-implementing engineering courses in Qatar and China. 197students responded to two surveys, and 168 students participated in group interviews.

While the study reveals increased adoption of deep approaches to learning on team projects, little influence on surface approaches to learning was found. The study also provides evidence supporting the positive relationship between students’ adoption of deep learning approaches and their acknowledgement of values of collaboration in teamwork.

This study suggests that while PBL characteristics may support deep learning, certain factors may underpin surface learning, including a feeling of insecurity during first experiences with it, lack of skills, and assessment methods that favor surface learning. Further efforts on engaging students with PBL may benefit both deep learning and team effectiveness.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, 2019, Volume 15, Issue 11, Article No: em1774

Publication date: 27 May 2019

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Article Downloads: 1462

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