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 Universitat Jaume I
  • Teresa Guraya University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
  • Pablo Lopez-Crespo University of Malaga
  • Marta Royo Universitat Jaume I
  • José Gamez-Perez Universitat Jaume I
  • Mercè Segarra Universitat de Barcelona
  • Luis Cabedo Universitat Jaume I



Active learning methods, Teaching methodologies, European higher education area


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.


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Author Biographies

Teresa Guraya, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU

Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science

Pablo Lopez-Crespo, University of Malaga

Department of Civil and Materials Engineering

Marta Royo, Universitat Jaume I

Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica y Construcción

José Gamez-Perez, Universitat Jaume I

Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica y Construcción

Mercè Segarra, Universitat de Barcelona

Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e Ingeniería Metalúrgica. Facultad de Química

Luis Cabedo, Universitat Jaume I

Departamento de Ingeniería de Sistemas Industriales y Diseño (ESID)

Associate Professor


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How to Cite

Moliner, M. L., Guraya, T., Lopez-Crespo, P., Royo, M., Gamez-Perez, J., Segarra, M., & Cabedo, L. (2015). Acquisition of transversal skills through PBL: a study of the perceptions of the students and teachers in materials science courses in engineering. Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences, 2(2), 121–138.