Students’ Views on Sources of Engineering Identity Development in a Collaborative PBL Environment

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This study examines the interplay between individuals’ subjective actions and interactions with the collaborative PBL (Project/problem-Based Learning) environment for engineering identity development in order to capture engineering students’ perception of what is important for their professional identity development in a PBL curriculum. A conceptual understanding of sources from internal and external domains was reported. Internal sources included students’ interest in specific engineering topics and interdisciplinary projects, intention to promote changes in society, and belief in their engineering competences. External sources in the PBL included opportunities to work on real-life problems and gain work-related experience, allowing them to explore how engineers work, understand engineers’ responsibilities, and interact with members from engineering communities. The outcomes of this study highlight the ongoing interplay between internal and external sources, indicating that internal sources offer support for individual choices of professional socialization experience, which are also related to relational sources, contextual sources, and other external sources. Suggestions for future PBL curriculum design propose that engineering educators provide a learning environment that supports students’ better use of multiple sources for development of their engineering identity.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)525-542
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 1 maj 2022


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