Problem-based learning: Effects on academic performance and perceptions of engineering students in computer sciences

Danilo Amaya Chávez, Vanesa-María Gámiz-Sánchez, Antonio Cañas Vargas


In the present article we analyse the impact of problem-based learning (PBL) on learning and perceptions in first-year students undertaking Engineering in Computer Sciences. The module designed took a number of advanced theories of PBL and its application within the Engineering profession. Mixed methods were used to enable data from qualitative and quantitative instruments to be obtained. A quasi-experimental design was specified, employing non-probabilistic sampling, with a control (N = 40) and experimental group (N = 39). In comparing PBL with traditional methods, the results reveal statistically significant differences in aspects such as academic performance. Teamwork, oral communication, written communication and students’ perceptions of the learning experience were also all favoured. Nonetheless, lack of adequate team dynamics in previous learning experiences and reluctance to change traditional teaching approaches, could compromise the viability of that proposed.


Problem-based learning, teamwork, education in engineering, higher education, academic performance

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Technology and Science Education, 2011-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-6374; Print ISSN: 2014-5349; DL: B-2000-2012

Publisher: OmniaScience