A narrative inquiry into developing learner agency of engineering students in an intercultural PBL environment

Dan Jiang*, Bettina Dahl, Xiangyun Du

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study explores how engineering students develop learner agency in
an intercultural PBL (problem- and project-based learning) environment,
along with the factors that affect their development. Theoretically,
learner agency is framed within three interrelated dimensions:
intrapersonal, behavioural, and environmental. A narrative inquiry
approach is adopted to investigate 11 engineering master’s students’
perceptions of their agency development. The findings reveal 10
elements perceived as ways to develop learner agency of engineering
students, namely belief in their own self-efficacy, motivation, global
engineering identity, goal-setting, planning, monitoring, reflecting, trust
building, team atmosphere, and support from supervisors and
institutions. These results also show that different factors affect the
building of learner agency for engineering students, such as students’
experiences before undertaking a master’s degree, their level of
advancement in the program, the culture of each study program,
communication styles, and the composition of the project group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
ISSN0304-3797
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • Engineering students
  • PBL
  • intercultural environment
  • learner agency
  • narrative inquiry

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