Research Article

Social skills in higher education: how to combine active learning and social skills training program

Daniele Carolina Lopes; Mateus Cecílio Gerolamo; Marcel Andreotti Musetti; Daniel Capaldo Amaral

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Paper aims: The objective was to propose a Social Skills Training (SST) program integrated with project-based learning (PjBL) and to describe the student’s perception.

Originality: Social skills are recognized for promoting peer collaboration and are important requirements in professional environment. However, there are no proposals on how to integrate SST in PjBL.

Research method: The same PjBL was applied to students from different classes and at the same Production Engineering course. The first in 2017 without the SST, and in 2018, with the SST conducted by a psychologist. A survey with open-ended questions compiled students' perceptions in both applications.

Main findings: The qualitatively analyzed students' responses indicated changes regarding the perceived benefits of the PjBL over the years and students with SST cited the benefit of social interaction and teamwork.

Implications for theory and practice: The study points out that SST can be positive and brings effects in professional teams.


Social skills training, Higher education, Project-based learning, Engineering, Students


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