Over the past 40 years, Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) has increasingly been introduced in engineering education. The implementation of PBL in engineering education is a success, but it also raises some questions that should be the point of departure for further research and development. Central to this area is issues concerning development and implementation of educational systems, especially teaching and learning in engineering education in alignment with the future need of engineering knowledge, Bildung and skills. PBL is multi-facetted, but is PBL necessarily the only or the most correct concept of learning in, and for, any given situation?
The following research themes are addressed:
- Organisational change to PBL
- Learning and achieving new competences and PBL: creativity, innovation, sustainability and process competences
- Curriculum development
- Assessment and PBL
- Staff development
- Continuing education
The research is based on the assumption that there should be an alignment among all elements in the teaching and learning process: objectives, selection of contents, teaching and learning methods and assessment. The choice of teaching and learning methods is depending on the future direction of engineering knowledge, skills and Bildung as well as on the assessment system which influences the knowledge that is learned. So, Education is viewed as systems with an inner balance, which may be disturbed if one of the elements changes.
The Aalborg Centre is running own research symposia, and collaborate with a series of national and international networks worldwide.
- The Pan-American Network for Problem-based Learning runs international biennial conferences
- Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, runs International Symposia every second year
- Facilitate – an Irish PBL network
- Finnish Network on Problem- Based Learning in Higher Education Pro-Bell
- Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE) annual symposia