While there many approaches toexperiential learning, open-ended problem-basedlearning is believed in literature to be the most effectiveapproach. However, in the teaching of engineering, thisapproach is resource intensive. Consequently, it is usuallyconfined to a single capstone course in engineeringprograms. On the other hand, laboratory-based learning,which is one of the oldest forms of experiential learning,is less resource intensive than problem-based learning.But in its simplest form, where students are required tocarry out well-structured laboratories, laboratory-basedlearning does not develop students’ design, projectmanagement and communications skills. In this paper, wepresent a learning approach that combines laboratorybasedlearning with open-ended problem-based learning.This approach harnesses the strength of laboratory-basedlearning and open-ended problem-based learningapproaches, while mitigating their shortfalls. In theapproach, students working in groups of three to four areintroduced to two areas of study, namely: ProgrammableLogic Controller (PLC) systems integration and PLCsystems data access. Thereafter, the students are asked todevelop group projects which either integrate the twoareas of study, or extend the functions of the laboratoriesin one of the areas of study. Once the project is approved,the students are required to design, implement and testtheir solutions within a specified timeframe. We havereceived a lot of positive feedback from students aboutthis learning approach, and in the future we would like tocarry out a formal survey to determine its educationaleffectiveness.