Distance Project-Based Learning During Lockdown and Learner’s Motivation

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Andréa Boisadan
Céline Viazzi
Christophe Bourgognon
Bernard Blandin
Stéphanie Buisine


During the first lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, project-based learning (PBL) had to be implemented remotely. To gain knowledge on this learning context, we monitored motivation (in Self-Determination Theory framework), flow, social identification and self-rated performance during a 10-day project conducted with 281 engineering students. Final grades were also collected as objective performance indicators. Results show that intrinsic and identified motivation, flow, self-rated performance and group identification increased throughout the project, which suggests that remote PBL stimulated students’ needs for autonomy and competence without hindering their need for relatedness. Furthermore, the analysis of significant predictors of teams’ and individuals’ performance draw avenues for improving PBL and stimulating intrinsic and identified motivation, for the subject and for the project, at the right time along the program.

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