A project-based course is where students engage in a series of projects, which help lead students to a defined level of skill as specified in the course goals. Unlike a traditional lecture course where students are given examinations to assess the level of student knowledge and understanding, a project-based course may not include any formal examination. The assessment of student progress is often based on the quality of course projects. For this research, students in project-based courses were given a formal exam at the end of the course. The objective of the exam was to determine if there was a discrepancy between student performance on the exam and their projects. While the majority of students performed remarkably similarly on their exam and projects, a number of students (25%) did perform quite differently. This study demonstrated that examinations are still a critical tool for assessing student skill level in project-based courses.

Creative Commons License

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

Publication Date



This paper was originally published in the Journal of Problem Based Learning. The final, published version can be located here: https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.jpblhe.v0i0.1864

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Engineering Studies (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus