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The present article analyses the research results of the effectiveness of a comparatively new but a widely studied learning method - action research - in e-learning project-based (PBL) group studies. The objective of the article is to identify the main principles of collaborative work in an e-learning environment: (1) what effect the students' involvement in the action research method which is based on creating personal knowledge via reflection has on acquiring the course, (2); how to measure and assess the students' creativity, (3); how collaboration within the group influences the development of interests. The methods of statistical and qualitative analysis as well as systemic content analysis of the students' work are used in the article. We propose this method as an effective tool for engineering education.