June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Project-based learning has widely spread as a learning tool that many students find useful. Branch campuses are no exception in terms of assigning projects as a way to achieve learning outcomes. However, the differences arise and are more distinguishable when the cultural diversity of the student population is taken into consideration. This paper aims at forming a better understanding of engineering students’ perceptions of project-based learning in the diverse context of an international branch campus located in Qatar, as well as to provide educators with suggestions on how to better manage group projects that involve a diverse population.
The research project bases its results and recommendations on data taken directly from the branch campus in the form of a focus group. A diverse group of students, from different majors, genders, and classifications were involved in an open-ended discussion on their perspective and experiences with projects, and what elements of a project were the most important to them.
Major findings discussed the role that the culture, of both the diverse group of students and of the physical location of the campus, plays when the students are working on projects. Students ranked teams, and their interaction with fellow team mates as the primary factor responsible for their satisfaction with the project. Other factors that influenced the perspective of the students about projects included relevance of the project to the major and the interest of the students.
We also argue that cultural factors play a large role in students’ perceptions of projects. Recommendations based on this will be useful for instructors working with diverse student populations on project-based learning.
Abdalla, A., & Reghunath, R., & Zaidi, M. J., & Hodges, A. (2019, June), How to Approach Learning: Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Project-based and Problem-based Learning at an International Branch Campus in the Middle East Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32900
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