Motivating Students to Develop Satellites in Problem and Project-Based Learning (PBL) Environment

Larsen Abilgaard Jesper, Jens Frederik Dalsgaard Nielsen, Chunfang Zhou


During the last decade, a total of three student satellites have been developed by engineering students in a Problem and Project-Based Learning (PBL) environment at Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark. As solving such a complex project, we emphasize that a high level of motivation is needed for the students. Thus some efforts have been done on project management style with this aim. However, it is necessary continuous to discuss this issue from the students’ perspective for a better PBL environment. This leads to the research question of how the students perceive their motivation in developing satellite projects in a PBL environment. Empirically, a total of 12 student participants were interviewed. The results show that students’ motivation is highly stimulated by the project management with a series of factors, such as the task characteristics, support of peers, help of supervisors, and openness, etc. However, the time schedule is a barrier to motivation. Thus, the supervisors are suggested to be more aware of the complex relationships between student, teacher, tasks and the students’ response.

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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