"Profiles in PBL" is a web database where PBL engineering programs from around the world share the details of their PBL programs. Our goal is to showcase more than 100 PBL profiles. The profiles will serve as inspiration for PBL programs to learn from one another and for engineering educators world-wide who are considering PBL. This database has been developed in collaboration between The Aalborg UNESCO Centre and Iron Range Engineering, Itasca Community College.

Central University of Technology



Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa



Arthur James Swart


How would you describe your PBL?

Students are presented with specific parameters of a digital communication system. By means of calculations and analysis, they are required to determine the successful operation and effectiveness of various sections of the system.

What is most important to your PBL?


How is PBL implemented?

PBL is used in elective courses in the BTech degree

How do students acquire principles of discipline?

Disciplinary knowledge is acquired through classroom presentations, practical assignments, online reflections, online PDF notes which they need to review and collaborative activities.

How is student learning facilitated within PBL?

Facilitators provide students with the criteria and relevant equations which they need to use to determine if a given system will work on not. Based on their findings, recommendations are made with regard to the given criteria. The facilitator interacts with each student in this process, providing guidance where necessary.

Program Overview

Institution Type:


Degree Type:

ISCED 4: Post-secondary non-tertiary education

Program Length:

Two Years

Semesters in which PBL is Used:

Semester 1 and 2

Hours per week on Project:


PBL Overview

Problem structure:

Moderately structured

Formulation of problems:

Problems are formulated based on the facilitators experience in Industry

Team composition selection:

Student choice

Projects assigned by:

How is space dedicated to student teams for problem/project completion?

Space available, but not dedicated nor reservable

Degree of Interdisciplinarity:


Role of instructor:


Unique Features

Assessment Methods

Written Exams

Oral Exams

How assessment is implemented :

Individual assessment only