Project Based Learning versus Traditional Learning – Comparing Perspectives of Arab Managers with Chinese Managers


  • Martin Jaeger Australian College of Kuwait
  • Gang Yu Australian College of Kuwait
  • Desmond Adair University of Tasmania



The perspectives on Project Based Learning (PBL), traditional learning and engineering competencies are influenced by national and organizational culture.

Based on Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory and grounded in constructivist learning theory, the purpose of this study is to identify the perspectives of Arab and Chinese managers on the effectiveness of PBL versus traditional learning.

Utilizing descriptive and inferential statistics (Wilcoxon and Mann Whitney U test), findings show that Arab managers perceive 13 and Chinese managers 2 competencies to be more effectively developed by PBL, while the difference between PBL and traditional learning is perceived smaller among Chinese managers. A higher desire of avoiding uncertainty among Arab managers, higher achievement orientation among Chinese managers and an influence of educational systems were identified. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are advised to consider these findings, in order to compare with their institutions’ utilization of PBL versus traditional learning and to prepare engineers for global employment.