Motivational factors to consider when introducing problem-based learning in engineering education courses

  1. Carlos Efrén Mora
  2. Beatriz Añorbe Díaz
  3. Antonio Manuel González Marrero
  4. Jorge Martín Gutiérrez
  5. Brett D. Jones
The International journal of engineering education

ISSN: 0949-149X

Year of publication: 2017

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 1000-10017

Type: Article

More publications in: The International journal of engineering education


JCR (Journal Impact Factor)

  • Year 2017
  • Journal Impact Factor: 0.575
  • Journal Impact Factor without self cites: 0.324
  • Article influence score: 0.1
  • Best Quartile: Q4
  • Area: EDUCATION, SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES Quartile: Q4 Rank in area: 37/41 (Ranking edition: SCIE)
  • Area: ENGINEERING, MULTIDISCIPLINARY Quartile: Q4 Rank in area: 73/86 (Ranking edition: SCIE)

SCImago Journal Rank

  • Year 2017
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.433
  • Best Quartile: Q2
  • Area: Engineering (miscellaneous) Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 120/857
  • Area: Education Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 429/1528


  • Social Sciences: B

Scopus CiteScore

  • Year 2017
  • CiteScore of the Journal : 1.6
  • Area: Engineering (all) Percentile: 65
  • Area: Education Percentile: 61

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

  • Year 2017
  • Journal Citation Indicator (JCI): 0.56
  • Best Quartile: Q2
  • Area: ENGINEERING, MULTIDISCIPLINARY Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 62/168
  • Area: EDUCATION, SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 36/78


Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has become more popular in higher education over the past several years. It has proven tobe effective in engineering education to increase students’ motivation and the acquisition of skills required by the labourmarket and today’s society. However, even when PBL is gradually introduced at an institution alongside traditionalteaching, it is not perceived by students as an easy way to learn, especially when ill-structured, real problems are firstintroduced. Students can feel stressed, often because of their lack of both skills and previous knowledge, and they oftenprefer to focus their efforts on the final result and on passing their exams rather than the problem-solving process. Toidentify the difficulties that students have during PBL and to re-design instruction to increase students’ motivation, thisstudy used the MUSIC1Model of Motivation as a conceptual framework. This paper analyses students’ motivation whenPBL is introduced in a traditional-teaching institution, and discusses the main adjustments needed to increase students’motivation, engagement, and learning.