Effect of Problem-Based Learning on Students’ Academic Achievement in Digital Electronics in Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State, South-South, Nigeria

Owo Offia Tugwell


The study investigated the effect of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) on Students’ Academic Achievement in Digital Electronics in Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State, South-South, Nigeria. Quasi-experimental pre-test post-test control design was used in the study. The sample of the study comprised 84 Higher National Diploma (HND) final year students of electrical and electronic engineering (Telecommunications and electronics option). Three research questions and one hypothesis were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. The instrument used for data collection was a 20-item Digital Electronics Achievement Test Questionnaire (DEATQ) designed by the researcher and validated by two experts in electrical and electronic engineering from Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, Imo State. Kuder-Richardson formula was used to obtain the instrument’s reliability coefficient as 0.87. Mean and t-test were used to answer the research questions and test the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed among others that problem-based learning enhances students’ academic achievement in Digital Electronics. Consequently, it was recommended among others that engineering technology lecturers in Nigerian polytechnics and universities should use more of PBL and other student-centred teaching strategies in instructional delivery in order to boost students’ achievement in technology-based courses.


academic achievement; conventional teaching; problem-based learning; student; technology-based courses

Full Text:



Abdullah, N. I., Tarmizi, R. A., and Abu, R. (2010). The effects of problem-based learning on mathematics performance and affective attributes in learning statistics at form four secondary level. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 8, 370–376.

Akınoğlu, O., and Tandoğan, R. O. (2007). The effects of problem-based active learning in science education on students’ academic achievement, attitude and concept learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 3(1), 71-81.

Albanese, M., and Mitchell, S. (1993). Problem-based learning: A review of literature on its outcomes and implementation issues. Academic Medicine, 68(1), 52-81.

Arends, R. I. (1998). Learning to teach. Boston, USA: McGrow Hill.

Barrows, H. (2002). Is it truly possible to have such a thing as PBL? Distance Education, 23(1), 119-122.

Beringer, J. (2007). Application of problem based learning through research investigation. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(3), 445-457.

Bhatti, P. T., and McClellan, J. H. (2011). A cochlear implant signal processing lab: Exploration of a problem-based learning exercise. IEEE Transactions on Education, 54(4), 628-636.

Çelik, E., Eroğlu, B., and Selvi, M. (2012). The effect of problem based learning approach in science education on students' academic achievement, and attitudes toward science and technology course. Kastamonu Education Journal, 20(1), 187-202.

Chukwudebe, G. A., Chika, I. E., and Onojo, J. O. (2006). Understanding Digital Logic Techniques and Systems. Nnewi: M C Computer Press.

Colliver, J. A. (2000). Effectiveness of problem-based learning curricula: Research and theory. Academic Medicine, 75(3), 259-266.

Delisle, R. (1997). Use problem-based learning in the classroom. USA: ASCD.

Demirel, M., and Dağyar, M. (2016). Effects of Problem-Based Learning on Attitude: A Meta-Analysis Study. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(8), 2115-2137.

Diraso, D., Manabete, S., Amalo, K., Mbudai, D., Arabi, S., and Jaoji, A. (2013). Evaluation of students’ performance in technical and engineering drawing towards an effective career choice in engineering and technical and vocational education. International Journal of Educational Research and Development, 2(4) 89-97.

Dooley, C. (1997). Problem-centered learning experiences: Exploring past, present and future perspectives. Reaper Review, 19(4), 192-195.

Duch, B. J., Groh, S. E., and Alen, D. E. (2001). The power of problem-based learning, a practical “how to” for teaching undergraduate courses in any discipline. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

ECSA. (2014). Home Page. [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.ecsa.co.za/ [Accessed on: 05 January, 2020].

Edens, K. M. (2000). Preparing problem solvers for the 21st century through Problem-based Learning. College Teaching, 48(2), 55-60.

Ekezie, A. I. A., and Owo, O. T. (2019). Assessment of the capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers for innovative instructional delivery in secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria. Innovation of Vocational Technology Education, 15(2), 43-57.

Fajimi, O. (2005). Problems encountered in the teaching and learning of technical drawing in Junior Secondary Schools of Lagos State in Nigeria. The Journal of Nigerian Association of Teachers of Technology, 5(1), 145-149.

Felder, R. M., and Brent, R. (1994). Cooperative learning in technical courses: Procedures, pitfalls, and payoffs. ERIC Document Reproduction Service ED-377038). [Online]. Retrieved from: www.ncsu.edu/effective_teaching [Accessed on: 05 January, 2020].

Floyd, T. L. (2002). Digital Fundamentals. 7th Edition. New Delhi, India: Pearson Education.

Hastings, D. (2003). Case study: Problem based learning and the active classroom. [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.tag.ubc.ca/facdev/services/newsletter/97/active.html [Accessed on: November 14, 2019].

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem based learning: What and how to students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235-266.

House, K. (2000). Mathematical problem solving in a grade 2 classroom. A Report of an Internship, 52-57.11. Memorial University of Newfoundland. [Online]. Retrieved from: www.researchgate.net/publication/35736015 [Accessed on: December 22, 2019].

Johnstone, K. M., and Biggs, S. F. (1998). Problem-based learning: introduction, analysis and accounting curricula implications. Journal of Accounting Education, 16(3), 407-427.

Jones, L. (1996). Basic electronics for tomorrow’s world. Cambridge Low Price Edition. Great Britain, Cambridge University Press.

Kaptan, F., and Korkmaz, H. (2001). Problem based learning approach in science education. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 20, 185-192.

Kaufman, D. M., and Mann, K. V. (1997). Basic sciences in problem‐based learning and conventional curricula: students' attitudes. Medical Education, 31(3), 177-180.

Koçakoğlu, M. (2008). The effect of problem based Learning and Motivational styles on students' academic success and attitudes towards Biology Course. (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis) Turkey: Gazi University.

Leary, H. M. (2012). Self-directed learning in problem-based learning versus traditional lecture-based learning: A meta-analysis. All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. [Online]. Retrieved from: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/etd/1173 [Accessed on: 11/12/2019].

Marum, T. (2009). PBL vs. DI: Which increases student achievement and attitude? (Unpublished Master Thesis), USA: Western Governors University.

Mierson, S., and Parikh, A. A. (2000). Stories from the field: Problem-based learning from a teacher’s and a student's perspective. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(1), 20-27.

National Board for Technical Education. (2001). Curriculum and Course Specifications for Higher National Diploma Programme in Electrical Engineering. Kaduna, Nigeria: UNESCO- Nigeria Project.

Okwelle, P. C., and OWO, O. T. (2018). Effects of Collaborative Learning on Academic Performance of Students in Technical Drawing in Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. International Journal of Educational Benchmark, 9(1), 77-87.

Özdil, G. (2011). Effects of problem based learning approach on students? Success in teaching the concepts of area and perimeter in seventh grade in primary schools. (Unpublished Master Thesis), Turkey: Kastamonu University.

Reynolds, J. M., and Hancock, D. R. (2010). Problem-based learning in a higher Education environmental biotechnology course. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(2), 175-186.

Ribeiro, L. R. C., and Mizukami, M. G. N. (2005). Problem-based learning: A student evaluation of an implementation in postgraduate engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 30, 137-149.

Saban, A. (2004). Teaching-learning process: New theories and approaches. Ankara: Gazi.

Santos-Martin, D., Alonso-Martinez, J., Eloy-Garcia Carrasco, J., and Arnaltes, S. (2012). Problem-Based Learning in Wind Energy Using Virtual and Real Setups. IEEE Transactions on Education, 55(1), 126-134.

Savery, J. R. (2006). Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1), 3.

Schwarts, P., Mennin, S., and Webb, G. (Eds.) (2001). Problem-based learning: Case studies, experience and practice. London: Kogan Page.

Sedha, R. A. (2010). A Textbook of Digital Electronics. Revised edition. New Delhi: S. Chand & Co. Ltd.

Sevening, D., and Baron, M. (2003). A comparison of traditional teaching methods and problem-based learning in an addiction studies class. Journal of Teaching in the Addictions, 1(2), 27-42.

Sifoğlu, N. (2007). The effects of constructivism and problem-based learning on students’ success in the teaching the topic heritage' at the 8th grade. (Unpublished Master Thesis), Turkey: Gazi University.

Swart, A. J. (2010). Evaluation of Final Examination Papers in Engineering: A Case Study Using Bloom's Taxonomy. IEEE Transactions on Education, 53(2), 257-264.

Swart, A. J. (2014). Using Problem-Based Learning to Stimulate Entrepreneurial Awareness among Senior African Undergraduate Students. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 10(2), 125-134.

Tavukcu, K. (2006). The effects on the learning outcomes of problem based learning in science instruction. (Unpublished Master Thesis), Turkey: Zonguldak Karaelmas University.

Tseng, K. H., Chiang, F. K., and Hsu, W. H. (2008). Interactive processes and Learning Attitudes in a web-based problem-based learning (PBL) platform. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(3), 940-955.

Uden, L. (2006). Technology and problem-based learning. C. Beaumont (Ed.). USA: IGI Global.

Üstün, U. (2012). To what extent is problem based learning effective as compared to traditional teaching in science education? A meta-analysis study. (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis), Turkey: Middle East Technical University.

Vanwasi, A. K., and Mithal, G. K. (2004). Pulse and Digital Electronics. New Delhi: Khanna Publishers.

Walker, A., and Leary, H. (2009). A problem based learning Meta-Analysis: Differences across problem types, implementation types, disciplines, and assessment levels. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 3(1), 6-28.

Walton, H. J., and Matthews, M. B. (1989). Essentials of problem-based learning. Medical Education, 23.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17509/invotec.v16i1.23514


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Innovation of Vocational Technology Education

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Lisensi Creative Commons
This work is licensed under a Lisensi Creative Commons Atribusi-BerbagiSerupa 4.0 Internasional.

View My Stats