PROJECT-BASED LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS FROM ROMANIAN, PORTUGUESE, AND TURKISH TEACHERS
1 Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Centre for Philosophica (PORTUGAL)
2 Eskisehir Osmangazi University (TURKEY)
3 Universitatea Ovidius din Constanţa (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Higher education teachers have been challenged to respond to an increasing diversity of students and to help them develop skills for the 21st century. Acknowledging the potential of supportive pedagogical relationships and student-centered practices, Project-Based Learning (PBL) constitutes an active teaching method that seems to benefit both teachers and students. This work is embedded on the Project Restart for Education in a Digital Era through Project-based E-learning (RESTART4EDU) and aims at describing the needs and expectations regarding project-based learning from Romanian, Portuguese, and Turkish higher education teachers. Participants included 39 teachers (69.2% female) from Romania (41%), Portugal (23%), and Turkey (36%), with one to 30 years of teaching experience (M = 13.85, DP = 8.77) in several fields (e.g., Education, Psychology, Medicine). Teachers completed a questionnaire regarding their PBL-related conceptions, needs, and expectations. Descriptive statistics results suggested that most teachers had no previous PBL training (89.7%) and frequently used an expository method of teaching (61.5%). Still, most participants were slightly familiar with PBL (64.1%), convinced that it could hold a positive impact on teaching-learning processes (100%), and willing to learn more and use it in their practice (100%). Results from cross-country difference tests indicated that Turkish teachers felt significantly less confident to use PBL than Romanian and Portuguese teachers, which might be due to variations in the organizational support provided to teachers’ practice. These findings support the need to create tools and conditions to improve higher education teachers’ knowledge and experience on active methods, such as PBL.
Keywords: Project-based learning, higher education, teachers’ professional development.