Learning and teaching style assessment for improving project-based learning of engineering students: A case of united Arab Emirates university

Rezaul K. Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Learning styles of most engineering students and teaching styles of most engineering academic staff are incompatible in several dimensions. Many or most engineering students are visual, sensing, inductive and active, whereas engineering education is mostly verbal (auditory), abstract (intuitive), deductive, passive and sequential. These mismatches lead to poor student performance, professorial frustration and a barrier to produce many potentially excellent engineers. The modern method of engineering education involves contemporary teaching and learning practices using project and program based learning, work integrated learning and integrative learning approaches. Project-based learning (PBL) is acknowledged as a collaborative, progressive, student-centred, interactive, active and deep learning approach. The paper investigates the learning styles of engineering students, teaching approaches of engineering academic staff, the role of smart technologies and their applications for the implementation of PBL in engineering education at the United Arab Emirates University. Students and academic staff were surveyed to understand their learning and teaching styles respectively. Most engineering students are observed active (57%), sensory (71%), visual (83%) and sequential (68%). Surveyed engineering academic staff exhibited their strong preference to expert, delegator and facilitator style of teaching. Students were observed to use different educational technologies frequently and approximately 52% students were identifi ed using electronic media and technology as their learning resources. Only 22% of students indicated small group work as their learning resources, which indicates lack of collaborative learning of students. Previous studies discovered that PBL approach prefers facilitator style of teaching rather than expert or delegator styles. The paper discusses the improvement of PBL in engineering education through understanding of learning and teaching styles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Engineering students
  • Learning styles
  • Project-based learning
  • Teaching styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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