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Special Aspects in Implementing the Project-Based Learning in Russian Universities

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2017 ASEE International Forum


Columbus , Ohio

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June 28, 2017

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June 28, 2017

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June 28, 2017

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Vasily Ivanov graduated from Kazan State Chemical and Technological Institute (today Kazan National Research Technological University, KNRTU) in 1976. He continued his research and obtained a Ph.D. in Engineering in 1986. At the same time, he held the administrative positions in the regional system of education management. He received the position of the First Vice-Rector of KNRTU for Academic Affairs in 1989, which he has held since then. He received the degree of Doctor of Science in Education for his dissertation “Designing the Contents of Professional Pedagogical Training for Faculty of Technical Universities” in 1996. Professor Ivanov enhanced the development of engineering pedagogy at KNRTU as a separate subject and a research discipline. He investigates the problems of engineering pedagogy in the following areas: continuing psychological and pedagogical education in an engineering university; teaching methods for engineering disciplines in an engineering university; innovative engineering education; continuing professional development programs.
Vasily Ivanov chairs the Academic Council for Defense of Ph.D. and Doctorate Thesis in Engineering Pedagogy at KNRTU for degrees in “Theory and Methods of Teaching Chemistry in Schools and Universities” and “Theory and Methods of Professional Education”. Under his supervision, 11 Ph.D. dissertations and 3 doctorate dissertations in engineering pedagogy were defended.
Since 2012, Vasily Ivanov has been a member of American Society for Engineering Education, and has participated in ASEE Annual Conferences and International Forums. Professor Ivanov has been an active member of IGIP Russian Monitoring Committee since the day of its foundation in 1995. Under his leadership, in 1997, a Center of Engineering Pedagogy was founded at KNRTU with an accredited European Engineering Educator program. He was the key driver of the 42d IGIP International Conference “Global Challenges in Engineering Education” held in Kazan in 2013. Vasily Ivanov has published over 400 research and methodology works, including 20 monographs, 38 textbooks and study guides, 92 papers in the leading peer-reviewed journals, 35 papers in international journals.

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Svetlana Barabanova Kazan National Research Technological University


Phillip Albert Sanger Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Dr. Sanger is a professor in the School of Engineering Technology in the College of Technology of Purdue University. His focus and passion is real world, industry based, senior capstone experiences both domestically and internationally. He has successfully developed this area at Purdue and at Western Carolina University. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Sanger had a successful 30 year career working in and with industry managing and participating in broad range technology development and commercialization.

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Maria Suntsova Kazan National Research Technological University

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Born on October 9, 1973 in Kazan, Russia
Married, 2 sons

Senior Lecturer (part time) at the Department of Foreign Languages in Professional Communication of Kazan National Research Technological University, Russia


Mostly, articles on educational and linguistic topics, as well as translations


1995 - present time
Teaching students and adults (German, English, Comparative Education, Psychology&Pedagogy) at various educational establishments, from high schools and private colleges through the Center for Professional Retraining and Advanced Training for University Professors at Kazan State Technological University.

1992 - present time
Freelance and employed translator/interpreter working with English, German, French, and Russian in various companies in Russia and abroad. Since 2012, a member of the Union of Translators of Russia


1996-1999 Postgraduate at Kazan State Technological University
On December 1, 1999, defended the thesis on Comparative Education and was awarded the degree of the Candidate of Education (a Russian equivalent of PhD)

1996-1997 Center for Professional Retraining and Advanced Training for University Professors at Kazan State Technological University
Diploma of a professional teacher in higher educational institutions

1990-1995 Kazan State Pedagogical University, Russia
Faculty of Foreign Languages
Diploma with distinction, a qualified secondary-school teacher of German and English

In 1990, finished Kazan secondary school 121 with a gold medal.

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Irina Pavlova

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Modern Russia is challenged with serious needs for highly qualified engineering personnel as a necessary resource of its economic development. The growing education quality and increasing competitiveness of Russian higher educational establishments are, inter alia, achieved in Russia’s innovation universities due to their integration into the global educational environment and to the use of actual teaching methods. Inviting internationally recognized experts into Russian universities allows them to apply the world’s best practices to teaching their students and training their faculty members. In recent times, the project-based teaching method is increasingly used at Kazan National Research Technological University (KNRTU), Russia, as a method that enhances the studying motivation of its students. Implementation of the method into the teaching/learning processes in the University is largely determined by inviting a professor from the USA, who has been successfully implementing this method globally for very different audiences for many years. A special feature of his work at KNRTU is the use of the project-based method for differing academic purposes in different groups of trainees, such as bachelor-level students, master-level students, postgraduates, and teaching personnel. The project-based method means that students must attack a problem and propose some ways of solving it. This approach requires from each participant to work proactively, everyone makes his or her own contribution to and is responsible for the outcomes. As compared to conventional methods, this method ensures the high level of all participants’ involvement into educational process. In the course of working on the project, students and trainees were proposed to fulfill independently or in teams some tasks within a strictly limited time span, which were aimed at describing and analyzing of a problem-based situation, assessing the state/level/depth of the problem, estimating the evidence and indicators of the problem status, reviewing the problem status according to actual data, and identifying the challenges and approaches to solving the problem. As a result of the activities completed, nine projects have been implemented in the groups of bachelor-level and master-level students on the topics interesting to both the University and the Republic in general. The bachelor-level students chose the following topics for their projects: Career Guidance for Students; Teaching Children to Love Nature and Animals; Communication without Borders; Living with Everyone; and Student Slang Dictionary. Master-level students developed the following projects: Water-Jet Cutting Fire-Control Unit; Naushochketka (A Safety Hat Based on a Protective Cap); Website Adapted for Foreign Students; Waste Compactor; and A Heated Scraping Brush for Snow/Ice Car Clearing. Upon completing the lessons with the invited professor, a poll was taken among students that showed that 80 % of the respondents had liked to work on their project. 74 % pointed to their keen interest to working inn a team. 78 % of students are sure that they will further use the knowledge they have gained when working on their project. Everyone pointed to the usefulness of lessons given by a native English speaker. Certain problems occurred in mastering the problem-based method by faculty members, since they had preferred a systematic real-life communication with a native English speaker to the hard work on projects. The professor also used the project-based teaching method for one-time “exchange” lessons with students studying law in English. Questioning these students demonstrated the usefulness of this method even when applied in such a manner. Using project-based teaching/learning implements the principles of interactivity, performance, independence, and students’ involvement in the educational process, contributes to training the key competences of future professionals, and essentially activates the students’ mental activities regardless of the levels of their preceding preparation or motivation.

Ivanov, V. G., & Barabanova, S., & Sanger, P. A., & Suntsova, M., & Pavlova, I. (2017, June), Special Aspects in Implementing the Project-Based Learning in Russian Universities Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29300

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