Keynote: Introduction to the Aalborg PBL model


Published on

Invited Keynote: 2nd International Conference on mobility for life: Technology, Telecommunication and Problem Based Learning

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Keynote: Introduction to the Aalborg PBL model

  1. 1. Introduction to the Aalborg PBL model Thomas Ryberg, MA, PhD Professor mso, Dept. of Communication and Psychology e-Learning Lab – center for user driven innovation, learning and design Member of the PBL Academy Management Board Aalborg University No. 1 of 31
  2. 2. Quotes from first day’s plenary session • Education of the future: • Skills development along with knowledge • Critical Thinking, Innovation and Creativity embedded in our education system • Building global knowledge networks • Employability • I believe that PBL can be an important measure in achieving these! Aalborg University No. 2 of 31
  3. 3. Outline of presentation • Aalborg University – its culture and history (The Aalborg PBL model) - Introduction to the Aalborg PBL model • Introduction to e-learning lab and its scope in PBL and networked learning Aalborg University No. 3 of 31
  4. 4. Aalborg University (AAU) • Located in three campuses in Denmark (Northern Europe): Aalborg, Copenhagen, Esbjerg • Denmark – pop. 5.2 million people • App.14.000 students • 3400 Humanities • 4400 Social Sciences • 5800 Engineering, Science and Medicin • Established in 1974 and from the beginning based on Problem Oriented and Project Based Work (The Aalborg PBL Model) Aalborg University No. 4 of 31
  5. 5. The Aalborg PBL model • Problem Based Learning • Based on real-life problems • Project Organised Education - Project work supported by lectures and courses • Group Work - groups of four to six students - supervised by lecturers/professors • Interdisciplinary Studies - Integration of theory and practice - Focus on Learning to Learn and methodological skills • University Wide Model - Used in all faculties (with variations) Aalborg University No. 5 of 31
  6. 6. Theoretical Background of the Aalborg PBL model • Learning not transfer – students not passive receivers • Institutional learning often a curriculum of text and ‘existing knowledge’ students must memorize • Assessment a measure of how much knowledge the students have memorized – not their ability to produce new knowledge or to use their knowledge in real settings • AAU PBL model is different! Aalborg University No. 6 of 31
  7. 7. Theoretical Background of the Aalborg PBL model • Knowledge and learning is created by the students – not given to the students • Knowledge and learning should be about construction, and not re- construction of knowledge • Learning and knowledge construction is facilitated by collaboration (dialogue, critical reviews, coordinating efforts) • Learning is about producing new knowledge, solutions, theories and methods • Knowledge creation! Aalborg University No. 7 of 31
  8. 8. A bit of history and international context • A number of PBL universities and educations started to emerge in the 60-70’s • Maastricht University, The Netherlands • Linköping University, Sweden • McMaster University, Canada • Newcastle University, Australia • Roskilde University, Denmark (1972) • Aalborg University, Denmark (1974) • Particularly the McMaster University became an inspiration in relation to PBL in medical education • Similar thoughts among the universities, although uncertainty about the relations / inspirations • A particular Danish approach started to emerge in the 70s – combining problem and project based learning – was related to the social and cultural changes at that time Aalborg University No. 8 of 31
  9. 9. Cultural backdrop at that time • The development of the Danish ‘Reform Universities’ related to broader international social and cultural changes (e.g. the 1968 student rebellions) • Changing power relations between students and teachers (participant control) • A strong focus on ‘solving’ / addressing real life problems (e.g. Social inequality, Class or Gender difference) – and raising political consciousness (also within Computer Science and Engineering) Aalborg University No. 9 of 31
  10. 10. Theoretical inspirations • Sociology, Politics and Pedagogy • Oscar Negt (social theorist, critical theory) • Soziologische Phantasie und exemplarisches Lernen. Zur Theorie der Arbeiterbildung • Paulo Freire • Pedagogy of the Opressed (1970) • Knud Illeris • Problemorientering og deltagerstyring (problem orientation and particpant control) (1974) • Learning Theorists more broadly • Dewey, Kolb (experiental learning) • Piaget, Bruner (Constructivism) • Vygotsky, Lave, Wenger (socio-cultural theories of learning) Aalborg University No. 10 of 31
  11. 11. PBL in Denmark – and its cultural backdrop • PBL, Project based learning and group work has been adopted widely within the Danish educational system e.g. in primary schools • Aalborg University from the beginning had strong collaboration with local industries – regional focus on developing competence (education) • Students from PBL and project based universities are highly popular among industries and organisations in Denmark • Praised for their ability to engage in teams, working with problems, combining theory and practice • Fastest completion rates in Denmark (Down to 5.1 Years – (of 5.0)) • In general: Danish Educational System saturated by the ideas that: students are encouraged to speak up, organise themselves, work independently, disagree and discuss – often relations between teachers and students are more informal/ahierarchical than elsewhere • (encouraging personal growth, formation/culture (dannelse), democratic participation and citizenship) Aalborg University No. 11 of 31
  12. 12. Core principles (Aalborg PBL principles from folder) • Problem orientation: • Problems/wonderings appropriate to the study program serve as the basis for the learning process • Project organization: • The project stands as both the means through which the students address the problem and the primary means by which students achieve the articulated educational objectives • Integration of theory and practice: • Students are able to see how theories and empirical/practical knowledge interrelate. Facilitated by thematic framework, curriculum and supervisors Aalborg University No. 12 of 31
  13. 13. Core principles (Aalborg PBL principles from folder) • Participant direction: • Students define the problem and make key decisions relevant to the successful completion of their project work • Team-based approach: • A majority of students’ problem/ project work is conducted in groups of three or more students. • Collaboration and feedback: • Students use peer and supervisor critique to improve their work; and the skills of collaboration, feedback and reflection are an important outcome of the PBL model. Source: Principles of Problem and Project Based Learning. The Aalborg PBL Model. 2010. Scott Barge, Harvard University: Available in DK/UK from: Aalborg University No. 13 of 31
  14. 14. PBL as a change of identity and perspective • Easy to learn or memorise principles and concepts...more difficult to apply them in practice – which is why we discuss and practice! • Sometimes includes that one thinks radically different of one’s own role as a ‘teacher’ • In popularised versions ‘from sage on the stage to guide on the side’ • Maybe even a change of identity and a model that can be culturally challenging • Different power relations and tone • Accepting students can at times be more knowledgeable within some areas – and you can learn from them (while still being a more knowledgeable peer!) Aalborg University No. 14 of 31
  15. 15. PBL IN PRACTICE Aalborg University No. 15 of 31
  16. 16. Problem Based Learning – the Process Aalborg University No. 16 of 31
  17. 17. Students’ use of time - lectures, courses and project work Project work : a major assignment within a given subject-related 50 % framework determined for each semester (thematic framework). (15 ECTS) 50 % Course work – 3 x 5 ECTS modules with an exam Aalborg University No. 17 of 31
  18. 18. Connection between courses and projects • Every semester is set within a ‘thematic framework’ e.g. ‘databases and embedded systems’, ‘regional tourism’, ‘ICT and learning for sustainable development’ • Thematic frameworks are broad, but also helps sharpen the focus of the students’ projects • Courses are developed and taught with reference to the theme of the semester • Some courses are ‘Project Courses’ – meant to support project work • Others are ‘Study Courses’ with own assessment and exam (for general knowledge and skills) Aalborg University No. 18 of 31
  19. 19. Typical components of project work • The thematic framework of the semester is presented • Students brainstorm on ideas for projects and groups are formed • Students produce an early problem formulation and synopsis– a supervisor assigned to the group. • They scan for theories, methods, cases etc. that will help them solve or answer the problem they have – or help them to describe and analyse the problem domain. • E.g. ”How does the integration of computers into the classroom affect learning?” – This problem is a very open ended question, that can be investigated in many different ways. • The students will have to: Aalborg University No. 19 of 31
  20. 20. Typical components of project work • Find a problem and case, identify methods on how to investigate the problem (purely theoretical, through interviews, video-observation and analysis, questionnaires, ethnographic observation etc.) • They discuss their methods, and why they investigate their problem in a particular manner • They identify theories or theoretical concepts that will help them understand their problem • They (often) conduct empirical investigations, that are analysed • All this is done in collaboration with the supervisor, who helps the students to identify relevant methods, theories etc. Aalborg University No. 20 of 31
  21. 21. Assessment of the students • Some courses have individual examinations – oral or written – small assignment 15 pages. • Some courses are relieved through the ”project examination” • The written product of the project work is a project-report on app. 100 pages. • Group exam: The students, teacher and censor critically discuss the project and the students are given an individual grade. An examination last app. 2-5 hours. Aalborg University No. 21 of 31
  22. 22. WORK IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS AND PLACES Aalborg University No. 22 of 31
  23. 23. Aalborg University No. 23 of 31
  24. 24. Welcome to Aalborg University No. 24 of 31
  25. 25. Welcome to Aalborg University No. 25 of 31
  27. 27. E-Learning Lab – Center for User Driven, Innovation, Learning and Design • Research center in the Department of Communication and Psychology, Faculty of Humanities • App. 22 researchers (including PhD students) • International environment – PhD students from: India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Germany. • Research domains: Education, Health, e-governance, business • Research foci: • ICT, Networked Learning and collaboration • User Centered Design, Interaction Design and Human Computer Interaction • User Driven Innovation, Tools exploration and experiments • Practice studies • ICT for development (ICT4D) Aalborg University No. 27 of 31
  28. 28. ICT for Developing and building local capacity within the area of technology enhanced learning and networked learning – Developing technological infrastructure (open source) and capacity – Developing pedagogical practice e.g. more student centered learning, PBL Design Identity Culture NegotiationOpen Source Learning PBL CSCL Technologies Educatio Socio- Communities of n cultural Practice learning theory • SUDESCA • VISCA • VOANET • ELAC • Asian University for Women Aalborg University No. 28 of 31
  29. 29. Some examples of PhD project (some Erasmus Mundus) • Aparna Purushothaman (India): How women users can be empowered through learning to use internet - An Ethnographic Action research study done in state of Kerala • Farzana Akhter (Bangladesh): ICT-enabled informal learning for rural area people in Bangladesh • Nikorn Rongbutsri (Thailand): Mobile Learning for Higher Education in Active Learning and PBL Environments • Saifuddin Khalid (Bangladesh): ICT for education - motivating a rural village in Bangladesh using local “students of a technical education institute.” • Sandra Safwat (Egypt): Factors affecting Egyptian and Vietnamese students acceptance and usage of e-learning component of an MBA program designed in Northern Europe Aalborg University No. 29 of 31
  30. 30. New roles for technology in supporting PBL CHANGES IN THE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LANDSCAPE Aalborg University No. 30 of 31
  31. 31. Social media or web 2.0 in education Have become popular within educational technology Web 2.0 ’Progressive’ education (since 19XX) User-driven Learner-centred Collaboration Collaborative learning Participation Active students vs passive recipients 2 -way communication Dialogues and interaction Creating and sharing Knowledge construction vs acquistion Bottom-up Ahierarchical, flat – students as co-producers Realised through use of: Blogs, wikis, social bookmarking etc. But many of the ideals are not new! Loads of work on how to support the work of groups (also in a PBL- context) – but new challenges and opportunities for learning and group work Aalborg University No. 31 of 31
  32. 32. Changes in the educational technological landscape From hierarchical structures based on courses and topics towards more student centred networks From distribution to more horizontal patterns of exchange – peer-learning From Learning Management Systems (LMS)  Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) Encouraging exchange, sharing of knowledge and students’ production of knowledge and artefacts Encouraging the production of personal portfolios – personal repositories Aalborg University No. 32 of 31
  33. 33. Sharing across different social constellations Strength of tie Homebase(s) – Glued together by RSS, Widgets, profile PLE ‘open standards’, open APIs – Streams of continuously Own content evolving ‘data’ and ‘information’ that can be somewhat easily Friends’ manipulated Groups’ content content Shared fields of interest – imagined communities Collectives’ We all become content – entrance points into aggregated complex (overlapping) networks other Aalborg University No. 33 of 31
  34. 34. “new” social constellations or aggregations Learner in the centre Networks between people working collaboratively Networks between people sharing a context Networks between people sharing a field of interest (Dalsgaard, 2006): Let’s briefly explore some Picture taken from: (Andersson, 2008) examples of this – there are however many other sites and mixes Aalborg University No. 34 of 31
  35. 35. Flash activities • Cloudworks – clouds where anyone can add content, , tags, references, discuss etc. • Wikipedia • Twitter-streams e.g. #Occupy – stream where content and conversations are pulled together • MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses Aalborg University No. 35 of 31
  36. 36. Challenge • ICT enables multiple interactions across levels of scale • New arenas for finding and contributing knowledge • Supporting learners in making sense of the bits and pieces • The group (not necessarily project group) as a unit is a locus for deeper discussions and interactions and for sustained interactions and knowledge development • But important to support the continuous traversing of scale Aalborg University No. 36 of 31