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The Effect of Project-Based Learning (PBL) on Improving Student Learning Outcomes in Transportation Engineering

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Attracting and Retaining Students in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1448.1 - 22.1448.19



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Paper Authors


Sameer Hamoush P.E. North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Hamoush is a Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, North Carolina A& T State University. Dr. Hamoush is NC A&T’s Technical Director for the Strategic University Partnership Consortium with Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA). Dr. Hamoush’s research interest is in the area of structural mechanics that includes structural design, composite materials and fracture mechanics. Dr. Hamoush is the author of more than fifty refereed articles and a technical reviewer of many journals.

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Ellie H. Fini North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Ellie Fini is an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. Her expertise is in Transportation and Construction Engineering. She conducts research in pedagogy assessment and instructional laboratory equipment. She also conducts research in the area of sustainable construction materials, pavement design and rehabilitation. She received her Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Materials Laboratory at NC A&T State University. She is currently the principle investigator of four active NSF grants on sustainable construction materials. She has been involved in a pooled-fund study sponsored by FHWA and NRC on bituminous-based sealant characterization. She is also a member of ASCE, TRB, and AAPT.

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Mahour Mellat Parast University of North Carolina, Pembroke

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Dr. Mahour Mellat Parast is an assistant professor of decision sciences and operations management at the School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. He received his Ph.D. in industrial and management systems engineering from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2006. His areas of research are operations and supply chain management, and the formation of trust in strategic alliances and network of firms. He has published papers in journal such as International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, International Journal of Production Economics, Quality Management Journal, International Journal of Project Management, Management Decision, and Total Quality Management. He has served as a reviewer for NSF CAREER award (Innovation and Organizational Science Division).

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Sanjiv Sarin North Carolina A&T State University

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Sanjiv Sarin is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. He received a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a member of ASEE and IIE, and a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina.

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Project-Based Learning in Transportation EngineeringABSTRACTThe paper discusses the result of an ongoing study on effect of project based learning onstudents learning outcome in Transportation Engineering Course which is a compulsoryjunior level courses in the Civil Engineering curriculum at NC A&T State University.The course was taught in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The course was transformed from lecture-based course to a project-based course integrating project to drive the learning whileprojects are used as stimuli for students learning. To evaluate and compare studentslearning between lecture-based and project-based teaching approaches, a surveyinstrument was used. The survey instrument includes five constructs to measure fivedifferent aspects of students learning including 1) higher order cognitive skillsimprovement, 2) self-efficacy improvement, 3) ease of learning subject matter, 4) teamworking improvement, and 5) communication skills improvement. The survey on Pre-assessment and post-assessment of student learning outcomes was conducted todetermine the effectiveness of project-based approach in enhancing students learning.The results show that use of project-based approach significantly improved students’teamwork skills and self-efficacy. Students’ narrative evaluations of their learningexperience were also very positive, identifying the integration of project into the coursecontent as one of the key benefits.Keywords: Project Based Learning, Self-Efficacy, Cognitive skills, Teamwork

Hamoush, S., & Fini, E. H., & Parast, M. M., & Sarin, S. (2011, June), The Effect of Project-Based Learning (PBL) on Improving Student Learning Outcomes in Transportation Engineering Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18390

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