University Social Responsibility towards Engineering Undergraduates: The Effect of Methodology on a Service-Learning Experience

Cabedo, Luis; Royo, Marta; Moliner, Lidon; Guraya, Teresa


Volume Issue Pages DOI / ISBN / ISSN
10 6 DOI: 10.3390/su10061823


Language Country
English Switzerland


Service-Learning (SL) experiences enable University Social Responsibility (USR) to be worked on in engineering studies as a core of education for Sustainability. The combined use of such experiences with active student-centered teaching methodologies fosters the acquisition of general and specific competences. On the basis of students’ perception, this study investigated and sought evidence of empirical foundations to understand whether and how Project Based Learning (PBL) affects the acquisition of USR-related competences when SL experience was implemented as the regular exercise in core courses in engineering studies. This research studied 100 second year undergraduate students in Industrial Design Engineering and Product Development. The students were divided into two groups, one of which experienced Service-Learning only in one class activity while the other group carried out a PBL activity. A survey consisting of 28 items was delivered to all these students and their answers were analyzed from a descriptive statistics viewpoint to understand how the students perceived their degree of attainment of USR competences. The findings suggest a clear difference between the methodologies used, which shows that PBL methodology may lead to a greater acquisition of USR competences than SL activity.


Service-Learning; Project Based Learning; University Social Responsibility; materials science and engineering; higher education

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