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This study reports the findings of a project that was done during the implementation of a problem-based learning (PBL) and cooperative learning (CL) elements into an undergraduate transportation engineering course. The study procedure used the student course evaluations, including a survey questionnaire, and university-wide standardized student evaluations. Additionally, student homework, tests, and exam grades were used as part of the evaluation process. Two methods of teaching formats were evaluated: the traditional teaching method of lecturing and using end-of-chapter book questions for homework assignments and the new currently used teaching method of student field data collection, preparation of a lab report for each data collection exercise and use of their data to answer homework questions. The semesters in which data were used in the analyses include, fall 2005, fall 2006, and spring 2007 taught using the traditional format and fall 2007 and spring 2008 taught using the new teaching format. The findings of this study have revealed that students do prefer the current teaching format that incorporates some forms of problem-based leaning (PBL) and cooperative learning (CL) elements over the traditional format of teaching. Students favor this method mainly because they believe that collecting their own data, getting involved in using these data in solving example problems in class and using them as a source of homework assignments improves their learning process.

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This project was funded jointly by Ohio Transportation Consortium (OTC) with matching funds from the University of Dayton. Document was made available with the permission of the author. Permission documentation is on file.