Z. Aginako1, M. Garmendia1, M.J. Bezanilla2

1University of The Basque Country (SPAIN)
2University of Deusto (SPAIN)
The aim of this paper is to describe the difficulties that teachers have perceived when they have applied in the classroom a Problem Based Learning (PBL) or a Project Based Learning (PjBL) approach previously designed by themselves.

A qualitative research method has been carried out in order to take an overall vision of the analysed issue. The aim of the study is not to generalize the result but to understand the process, and the experience of teacher, all to get information to improve further training programs in a similar context. The study has been developed by the analysis of implementation reports that teachers of engineering schools of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have written after taking part in a training program delivered by the university itself.

The training program called ERAGIN (promote in Basque) was a training program developed by the University of the Basque Country. The main object of the training program was to switch from a “classical” teacher centred teaching model to a cooperative student centred model according to the objectives of the European Higher Education Area. Six edition of the program were called, from 2009 to 2016. Any teacher of the university voluntarily (after a selection process) could take part of the training program that lasted two academic courses. The first course the teacher or teacher group designed the intervention in a specific subject after taking part in a brief seminary and with the help of a tutor. They had to develop a part of the subject (at least de 35 %) with PBL or a PjBL methodology. The second year they implemented the design in the classroom and evaluated the obtained results in order to make a revision of the design, and improve it. When they evaluated the results of the implementation they made a report called implementation report. In those reports they analysed the academic results, students’ learning quality, the perception of students about the methodology and the difficulties teacher had. They also gave an overall impression of the experience and reported about their self satisfaction.

Although the study carried out is more complex, in this paper the result about difficulties teachers had, have been discussed. The data sample is composed of 62 implementation reports, which are all the reports of teachers from engineering schools that took part in all the training process along the 6 editions of the program.

The research started with an exhaustive and iterative coding process of the sample. The coding process generated some categories to analyse: lack of material resources, teacher workload, problems with the design, assessment, workgroups management, students’ resistance, general management problems, unsuitable student skills or attitudes...

The frequency of the records have been established and compared in order to have an overall perspective of what must be taken into account to reduce the difficulties teacher have when they implement a PBL o PBLj approach in the classroom in an engineering context.