Analysing self-directed learning at iron range engineering: Framework and preliminary findings

Nicolaj Riise Clausen, Ron Ulseth, Bart Johnson

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Bell Program at Iron Range Engineering is an ABET accredited upper division engineering transfer program for students coming from a United States community college or equivalent education experience at a university seeking a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. This program model allows students to graduate with 2.5 years of engineering experience. The first half-year is called the Bell Academy which is an intensive growth phase where students learn to work in industry by completing design projects, taking technical courses, and developing professional skills. The Bell Academy is an intensive PBL experience in the Iron Range Engineering model, while the two years of co-op learning also adhere to PBL principles. The following two years are spent taking courses remotely while having the opportunity to work as engineers full time in industry for up to 24 months . As essential part of the Bell Program is the students involvement in remote courses, and as such, the students ability to direct and regulate independent learning is paramount for their success, and is one of the main foci of the Bell Academy. This study will attempt to measure and map out the development of behaviors and attitudes conducive to self-directed learning in students in the Bell Program, by applying the Oddi Continuing Learning Inventory (OCLI) self-reporting survey on all students currently enrolled (Oddi, 1984). The study will continuously gather data every 6 months for the next 3 years, collecting answers from all enrolled students. The analysis will evaluate both longitudinal progress of individual student cohorts as well as interventions and changes to the Bell Program by comparing the generations to each other. This article will present the framework of the study and preliminary results from the first data collection conducted in January 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming PBL Through Hybrid Learning Models : Timely Challenges and Answers in a (Post)-Pandemic Perspective and Beyond
Number of pages10
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Publication date2021
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7210-745-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th International Research Symposium on Problem-Based Learning, IRSPBL 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 15 Aug 202117 Aug 2021


Conference8th International Research Symposium on Problem-Based Learning, IRSPBL 2021
CityVirtual, Online
SeriesInternational Research Symposium on PBL

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The authors, 2021.


  • Hybrid model
  • Longitudinal data
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work-based learning


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