Implementing the competences-based students-centered learning approach in Architectural Design Education. The case of the T MEDA Pilot Architectural Program at the Hashemite University (Jordan)

  • Ahmad A. S. Al Husban The Hashemite University, Jordan
  • Safa A. M. Al Husban Al al-Bayt University
  • Yamen Al Betawi The Hashemite University
Keywords: competences, meta-profile, intended learning outcome, teaching and learning activities, assessment methods, constructive alignment, students-center learning approach, architectural design


Higher educational systems become increasingly oriented towards the competences-based student-centered learning and outcome approach. Worldwide, these systems are focusing on the students as a whole: focusing on their dimensional, intellectual, professional, psychological, moral, and spiritual. This research was conducted in an attempt to answer the main research question: how can the architectural design courses be designed based on the required competences and how can the teaching, learning activities and assessment methods be structured and aligned in order to allow students to achieve and reach the intended learning outcomes? This research used a case study driven best practice research method to answer the research questions based on the T MEDA pilot architectural program that was implemented at the Hashemite University, Jordan. This research found that it is important for architectural education to adapt the students-centered learning method. Such approach increases the effectiveness of teaching and learning methods, enhances the design studio environment, and focuses on students’ engagement to develop their design process and product. Moreover, this research found that using different assessment methods in architectural design courses help students to develop their learning outcomes; and inform teachers about the effectiveness of their teaching process. Furthermore, the involvement of students in assessment produces effective learning and enhances their design motivation. However, applying competences-based students-centered learning and outcome approach needs more time and staff to apply. Another problem is that some instructors resist changing to the new methods or approaches because they prefer to use their old and traditional systems. The application for this method at the first time needs intensive recourses, more time, and good cooperation between different instructors and course coordinator. However, within the time this method will be more useful and interesting for the teacher and more effective and formative for students. Finally, the development of architectural academic staff is needed to increase awareness of learning needs of all architectural students. This requires redesigning and aligning their curriculum and courses syllabus according to the requirements of new methods.

Published online: 30 November 2016


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Author Biographies

Ahmad A. S. Al Husban, The Hashemite University, Jordan

Architect. He is currently an assistant professor at the department, at the Hashemite University. He holds a Doctor of Architectural Design Degree (D Des, PhD) from the Interdisciplinary design institute at Washington State University in USA at 2012 with GPA (3.95). He holds a master degree in architectural engineering for Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan (2007), and a Bachelor degree in architectural engineering also from JUST (1994). His research interest revolves around issues related to architectural design education, design thinking, design strategies, and urban design. Academically, Ahmad works as Assistant Dean for communication with industry and training. In Addition to his academic profession, Ahmad had worked on the architectural design, construction, and supervision in both United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Mail:

Safa A. M. Al Husban, Al al-Bayt University
SAFA AL HUSBAN ( is an assistant professor at the department of Architectural Engineering, at the Faculty of Engineering in Al al- Bayt University, Jordan. Safa got her PhD — DDes program (Doctor of Architectural Design) from the Interdisciplinary design institute at Washington State University in USA at 2012 with GPA (3.95). Her Dissertation topic is “Architectural Design of Plazas, Social Capital and Connectivity, and Cultural Hybridity in Neighborhoods: Defining a Multi-dimensional Social Network Model for Public Health Promotion”. She got her Master degree in Architectural studies at 2007 from Jordan University of Science and Technology; the topic of her master thesis is: Assessment of the Residential Subdivision Practice in Jordan on the Light of Conceptual Sustainable Neighborhood Layout; and her Bachelor degree in Architectural engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology at 1994. Academically, she worked as Dean Assistant for quality assurance at the Engineering Faculty at Al Al-Bayt University in 2015; Dean Assistant for students’ affairs in 2013; and a Chair of the architectural engineering department at Al Al-Bayt University in 2014.
Yamen Al Betawi, The Hashemite University
YAMEN AL-BETAWI ( is an architect and urban planner. He is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Architecture — The Hashemite University in Jordan. He holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning (2013) from Cardiff University, UK, a Masters degree in Urban Design (2004) from Jordan University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor degree in Architecture (2001) also from Jordan University of Science and Technology. His research interests revolves around issues related to both the architectural and urban scale among which are place making, place identity, design of good cities, urban morphology, housing quality and residential satisfaction, planning and design processes, sustainable development, environmental design and quality of life. In addition to his academic profession, Yamen had worked on the design and consultation of several architecture, landscape and urban design and planning projects on both the local and regional scales, some of which were award-winning projects.


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How to Cite
Al Husban, Ahmad A. S., Safa A. M. Al Husban, and Yamen Al Betawi. 2016. “Implementing the Competences-Based Students-Centered Learning Approach in Architectural Design Education. The Case of the T MEDA Pilot Architectural Program at the Hashemite University (Jordan)”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 4 (1), 43-98.