Acquisition of transversal skills through PBL: a study of the perceptions of the students and teachers in materials science courses in engineering

M. Lidón Moliner, Teresa Guraya, Pablo Lopez-Crespo, Marta Royo, José Gamez-Perez, Mercè Segarra, Luis Cabedo


The main goal of this work is describing the experience in using Project Based Learning (PBL) methodology in Materials Science courses in several Engineering degrees. The courses were taught simultaneously in four different Spanish universities. In addition, the impact of this proposal on the acquisition of transversal skills through the perceptions of students and teachers is assessed. In order to do so, voices of over 54 students and 5 lecturers involved in the work have been gathered and studied descriptively. Discussion groups and self-reports have been collected and subsequently analysed. The analysis of the data collected by these two instruments has been coded and categorized into general dimensions. The results show how, through the PBL, self-learning is encouraged and the development of transversal skills such as teamwork are enhanced. Meanwhile, the lecturers consider PBL an appropriate methodology for Materials Science courses; however its implementation requires a higher work load. The faculty acknowledged PBL as a very interesting tool to work and evaluate transversal competences. Hence, the PBL methodology stands as one of the most effective methods that meet the demands of the 21st century and enables students to acquire not only content based knowledge, but also other abilities.


Active learning methods; Teaching methodologies; European higher education area

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