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Learning Recursively: Integrating PBL as an authentic problem experience


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Invited presentation given at 3rd Regional Conference on Engineering Education and Research in Higher Education, Kuching, 7 June 2010

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Learning Recursively: Integrating PBL as an authentic problem experience

  1. 1. Learning Recursively:Integrating PBL as an Authentic Problem Experience<br />Peter AlbionUniversity of Southern QueenslandAustralia<br />Image: Daragh CC (by) (nc) (sa)<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />The world we live in<br />Why Problem Based Learning<br />Approaching PBL as PBL<br />What counts as PBL?<br />Challenges of implementing PBL<br />Facing the challenges<br />Conclusion<br />
  3. 3. The world we live in<br />Exponential knowledge increase<br />Learning is a lifelong activity<br />
  4. 4. Friedman: The World is Flat<br />Image: Eva the weaver CC (by) (nc) (sa)<br />
  5. 5. Brown: From push to pull<br />Image:John Atherton CC (by) (sa)<br />
  6. 6. Brown: From stock to flow<br />Image:Amyc500 CC (by) (nc)<br />
  7. 7. 21st century education<br />Learning<br />to be not about<br />by doing not listening<br />Learning how to learn<br />
  8. 8. Why Problem-Based Learning?<br />
  9. 9. At the heart of PBL<br />Solving authentic problems<br />Matches 21st century skills<br />
  10. 10. Motivations for PBL <br />Relevance <br />Integration<br />Ongoing learning<br />
  11. 11. 4 ‘uncommon’ objectives of PBL<br />Structure knowledge for practice<br />Develop clinical reasoning<br />Develop self-directed learning<br />Increase motivation<br />
  12. 12. PBL outcomes<br />More nurturing & enjoyable<br />Equal on clinical but less base knowledge<br />
  13. 13. Problem-based learningpredates 21st century skills but remains relevant<br />
  14. 14. 21st century professionals<br />Information literate<br />Adaptable<br />Learning as needed <br />Integrating across disciplines<br />
  15. 15. PBL fits 21st century learning<br />
  16. 16. Approaching PBL as PBL<br />Image:blmurch CC (by) (sa)<br />
  17. 17. PBL begins with a problem<br />Group analysis of what needs to be known<br />Individual research<br />Developing a solution<br />Reflection on process & learning<br />
  18. 18. PBL implementation as PBL<br />Problem = how to design course using PBL<br />Requires knowledge of PBL and challenges<br />Enables developing & testing solution<br />Reflection informs next steps<br />
  19. 19. PBL & problem solving heuristics<br />Understand, plan, execute, evaluate<br />Ask, imagine, plan, create, improve (STEM)<br />
  20. 20. PBL implementation is recursive<br />Applied to educators’ practice<br />Effects PBL for students<br />
  21. 21. What counts as PBL?<br />
  22. 22. 5 characteristics of PBL<br />Starting point is a problem<br />Authentic for professionals<br />Knowledgeorganised around problems<br />Students have responsibility for learning<br />Most learning in small groups, not lectures<br />
  23. 23. PBL tutors <br />Not knowledge dispensers but resources<br />Consistent with 21st century learning<br />
  24. 24. Advocates argue for program level<br />Clear distinction from related approaches(anchored, case-based, project based)<br />Difficult to achieve purity in practice<br />
  25. 25. How pure must PBL be?<br />Barrows proposed a taxonomy<br />Spectrum of methodsAchieving objectives by degrees<br />
  26. 26. Two dimensions of PBL<br />Presentation of problem as open or closed<br />Learning directed by teacher or student<br />
  27. 27. PBL is a spectrum of methods<br />Six methods on spectrum<br />Major benefits with full PBLOther methods have benefits<br />Image:Charles TilfordCC (by) (nc) (sa)<br />
  28. 28. Barrows’ taxonomy of PBL methods<br />
  29. 29. Challenges of implementing PBL<br />Student & tutor roles<br />Collaborative group work<br />Design of curriculum & assessment<br />Use of technology in PBL<br />
  30. 30. Student & tutor roles change<br />Students accept more responsibility<br />Tutors provide less information<br />
  31. 31. PBL involves group work<br />Collaboration has benefitsEven for silent students<br />Students need group skillsMedium-sized (6) groups work best<br />Tutors need facilitation skillsExpertise in subject may be less important<br />
  32. 32. Curriculum & assessment for PBL<br />Design of problems is criticalNeed to address all aspects of courseNeed to motivate learners<br />Traditional assessment not appropriateNeed to focus on problems not facts<br />
  33. 33. Technology in PBL<br />Multimedia presentation of problemsIncreases motivationLittle or no effect on performance<br />Computer mediated communicationSupports online & distributed PBLBenefits for access to informationLess benefit for collaboration<br />
  34. 34. Facing some PBL challenges<br />PBL for distance educationInteractive Multimedia-PBLEngineering problem solvingEducation inquiry course<br />PBL with large distributed groupsLarge problem in groupsScaffolding with sub-tasks<br />
  35. 35. Interactive Multimedia-PBL<br />PBL for individual/isolated students – How?<br />PBL groups stimulate ideas<br />Build varied ideas into materials<br />PBL tutors facilitate & model thinking<br />Structure with sub-tasks with aids<br />Include expert responses<br />Success confirmed by<br />PBL evaluators<br />Student response<br />
  36. 36. Engineering problem solving<br />PBL for groups at a distance – How?<br />Virtual teams interact via Moodle<br />Group forums & wikis<br />Email & chat for messages & files<br />Virtual teams perform as well as on campus<br />Some added barriers<br />Time, technology and learning<br />Course team plans<br />More technology such as videoconference<br />Team building strategies<br />
  37. 37. Education inquiry course<br />Group inquiry for 350 online students – How?<br />Small group forums & wikis in LMS<br />Optional virtual tutorials in Wimba<br />Mixed results<br />Some groups worked well<br />Some groups had communication issues<br />Lessons learned<br />Need to prepare students for virtual collaboration<br />Provide more models in future classes<br />
  38. 38. Large problem in groups<br />150 students collaborate – How?<br />Cohort on 2 campuses challenged<br />Develop & share teaching materials<br />Positive response to authentic task<br />Materials used beyond graduation<br />Management challenges<br />Large group coordination<br />Non-contributors<br />Lessons learned<br />Preparation for communication & coordination<br />Peer assessment tool to moderate outcomes<br />
  39. 39. Scaffolding with sub-tasks<br />PBL for 500 1st years on 3 campuses – How?<br />Students & staff unprepared<br />Applied IMM-PBL insights<br />Scaffolding with sub-tasks<br />Narrative for coherence<br />Approach succeeded<br />Supported staff & students for performance<br />Strong evaluations<br />
  40. 40. PBL provides 21st century learning<br />
  41. 41. PBL is a spectrum of methods<br />Image:Charles TilfordCC (by) (nc) (sa)<br />
  42. 42. PBL is challenging<br />Student & tutor roles <br />Collaboration in groups<br />Curriculum & assessment design<br />Technology<br />
  43. 43. Treat PBL implementation as PBL<br />Develop solutions for now<br />Learn lessons for the future<br />
  44. 44. Questions<br />Peter Albion<br />University of Southern Queensland<br />Australia<br /><br />