Exploring the effects of design-based learning characteristics on teachers and students

S.M. Gómez Puente, M.W. Eijck, van, W.M.G. Jochems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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In design-based learning (DBL) projects, engineering students are to gather and apply knowledge while working on the design of artifacts, systems and innovative solutions in project settings. The characteristics of the projects, the design elements, and the role of the teacher are pivotal components within the DBL framework that foster students’ design problem-solving process. This article investigates the changes and effects of DBL characteristics on students in solving design problems. In addition, our study explores the effects of a professionalization program on DBL teachers and supervisors. We conducted a survey of teachers’ and students’ perceptions about DBL characteristics. We then observed teacher, supervisor, and student actions during DBL group settings in solving design problems. We triangulated the findings with student interviews on design problem-solving steps. Semi-structured interviews with teachers served to analyze the effects of these DBL characteristics on the students and any changes in project implementation. Main conclusions are that in gathering and applying knowledge, students take a broader approach in exploring problems and searching for design alternatives as a result of open-ended, authentic, and hands-on activities within DBL. DBL characteristics foster and enhance students’ ability to gather and apply knowledge in solving engineering design problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-928
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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