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Problem Based Learning: A teaching and learning tool for enhancing innovative capacity in EAC higher education engineering institutions The 2 nd EEEP workshop Makerere University August 7 – 8, 2014. Mona Dahms, Aalborg University, Denmark [email protected] The Rationale of this Presentation.

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Mona dahms aalborg university denmark mona@plan aau dk

Problem Based Learning: A teaching and learning tool for enhancing innovative capacity in EAC higher education engineering institutionsThe 2nd EEEP workshop Makerere UniversityAugust 7 – 8, 2014

Mona Dahms, Aalborg University, Denmark

[email protected]


The rationale of this presentation

The Rationale of this Presentation

  • The Aalborg Centre for Problem Based Learning in Engineering Science and Sustainability (UCPBL) launched May 2014 at Aalborg University (AAU) under the auspices of UNESCO

  • One of the objectives of UCPBL is to disseminate information about Problem Based Learning (PBL) worldwide

  • This workshop aims to contribute to fulfilling this objective


The activities in the programme

The activities in the programme


The activities in the programme1

The activities in the programme


Intended learning outcomes for the workshop

Intended learning outcomes for the workshop

Afterthis workshop youshouldbeable to

  • describe and discuss the PBL learningtheories and principles

  • describe strategies for, factors in and patterns of change in a higher education institution

  • discuss and analyse challenges and strategies for implementing PBL in yourown institution


An important beginning

An important beginning

A dynamic list of questions

Please list, for your own purposes, the questions for which you hope to have an answer by the end of this workshop

Cowan, 2003


And keep watching it

And keep watching it…..

…. or even adding to it, to make sure you get what you need by the time we finish

I rely on you to ask, as we go along

Cowan, 2003


Part i problem based learning pbl what is it why introduce it in eac engineering institutions

Part I: Problem Based Learning (PBL) – What is it? Why introduce it in EAC Engineering institutions?

Outline:

  • PBL – paradigmshifts

  • Characteristics of PBL

  • Different PBL models

  • Reasons for introducing PBL

    This lecturecontributes to achieving ILO 1


1 pbl paradigm shifts

1. PBL – paradigmshifts


Paradigm shifts

Paradigm shifts

PBL represents a paradigm shift at three levels:

  • Epistemological level

  • Educational management level

  • Teaching and learning level


1 epistemological level

1. Epistemological level

  • From Mode 1 knowledge

    • disciplinary knowledge, hierarchically structured, produced by and for academia in the ‘ivory tower’, driven by quest for knowledge

  • to Mode 2 knowledge

    • interdisciplinary knowledge, non-hierarchical, produced by stakeholders in and outside of university, driven by quest to solve local problems

(SA NQF, 2006)


A quote on knowledges

A quote on knowledges

  • ”..sustainability can only be achieved if … institutions of higher learning interrogate indigenous knowledges and practices of sustainable development and articulate them with existing scientific and technological knowledges in order to generate policies and programs that are Africa-centred, and acceptable to the local people.”

(Okolie, 2003, p. 236)


2 educational management level

2. Educational management level

  • From ‘Inputs Based’ Education (IBE)

    • focus on ‘inputs’, i.e, transmission of theoretical knowledge delivered through lectures based on textbooks and disciplinary needs for contents and coverage

  • to Outcomes Based Education (OBE)

    • focus on ‘outcomes’, i.e. graduates’ competences to create and apply practical knowledge in solution to real-life problems

(SA NQF, 2006)


The relation between obe and pbl

The relation between OBE and PBL

  • ”Outcome-based Education … is a student-centered learning process..” (Kavishe, 2014)

  • OBE is an educational system where focus is on students’ achievement of outcomes and therefore on the student-centered learning process

  • PBL is one of several student-centered approaches to teaching and learning in which the learning process is focused on achieving the learning outcomes

  • Other student-centered approaches are team-based learning, project organised learning, etc.


3 teaching and learning level

3. Teaching and learning level

  • From teacher centered Mode 1 knowledge transmission

  • to student centered Mode 2 knowledge creation and application


3 teaching and learning level1

3. Teaching and learning level

Shiftingrole of teacher:

  • From lecturertransmittingknowledge

  • to facilitator of creation and application of knowlegde

  • ‘from the sage at the stage to the guide at the side’

Shiftingrole of student:

  • From passive recipient of knowledge

  • to activecreator of knowledgethat is applied to solve real-life problems


2 characteristics of pbl

2. Characteristicsof PBL


Pbl learning theories

PBL learning theories

  • Social constructivism

  • Experientiallearning – the Kolb cycle

  • Peer learning – zone of proximaldevelopment

  • Collaborativelearning – communities of practice


Social constructivism

Social constructivism

  • Learning is the student’s individual process of constructing knowledge and meaning, based on information inputs from many sources and in collaboration with others

  • Teaching is the ”setting up of a situation from which a motivated learner cannot escape without having learned” (Cowan, 2003)– teaching is not (only) lecturing but creating enabling and sustainable learning environments


Experiential learning the kolb cycle

Experiential learning – the Kolb cycle

”Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experiences” (Kolb)


Peer learning zone of proximal development

Peer learning – zone of proximal development

  • Peer learning takes place in the ‘zone of proximal development’ which is ….

  • “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotskij 1978)


Collaborative learning communities of practice

Collaborative learning – communities of practice

  • “Learning is a function of the activity, context, and culture in which it normally occurs, thus it is situated” (Ref: Lave & Wenger 1991)


Pbl learning principles

PBL learning principles

Contents:

  • Problem based

  • Contextualised

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Exemplary

  • Action oriented

  • Theory – practice relation

Form:

  • Team organised

  • Participant directed

  • Experiencebased

  • Criticallyquestioning

  • Dialogic and democratic

  • A facilitating tutor/teacher

  • Project organised or case based

Graff and Kolmos 2003; Qvist 2008


Pbl competences

PBL competences

PBL develops students’ professional competences, incl.

  • problem solving

  • analytical and methodological

  • criticalthinking

  • social and environmentalresponsibility

  • creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

  • project management

  • communication, negotiation and conflict resolution

  • life long learning


3 different pbl models

3. Different PBL models


Four different pbl models

Four different PBL Models

  • University of Brasilia, Brazil

  • Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

  • University of Maastricht, the Netherlands

  • Aalborg University, Denmark


University of brasilia

University of Brasilia

Established in 1960 by progressive socialist government in Brazil.

Main aims:

  • Counteract scientific dependency on the West

  • Help solve development problems in Brasilian society


University of brasilia1

University of Brasilia

Main characteristics:

  • Problem solving

  • Interdisciplinarity

  • Experimentation

  • Integration of research and teaching

  • Critical, incl. self-critical, approach to teaching and research

  • Collaboration with society


Three existing pbl models

Three existing PBL models


And now the crucial question

… and now the crucial question:

What is PBL?

What would you answer?

Think - pair - share (1 + 3 + 5 min)

Buzz with the 2 - 3 nearest persons

Please contribute to plenary discussion


What is pbl

What is PBL?

  • Q: Which PBL model is the right / the best??

  • A: There is no ‘right / best’ PBL model - because

  • PBL is a learning philosophy, based on given learning theories and a set of principles - not a prescribed teaching method –

  • PBL is not ‘a tool’ !!

  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ PBL approach – each university and each department has to develop its own PBL model


4 reasons for introducing pbl

4. Reasonsfor introducing PBL


Perspectives of five stakeholder

Perspectives of five stakeholder

  • Government

  • Industry/society

  • Educational institutions

  • Teachers

  • Students


Government

Government

  • Governments want value for money invested in higher education

  • and the only way they can get that is by securing high outcomes of the education

  • in terms of useful competences of graduates.

  • Governments have a legitimate right to formulate national learning outcomes for higher education.

  • South Africa has formulated the most impressive cross-critical national learning outcomes of all nations I know of


Local government

Local government

  • ”Aalborg University has had enormous influence on the development of Aalborg and North Denmark during the last 40 years… The university has been pivotal in the region’s transformation from traditional industrial society to knowledge society characterised by advanced technology companies”(Former Aalborg Mayor Henning G. Jensen and North Denmark Regional Council Chairman Ulla Astman)


An industry society perspective

- an industry/society perspective

  • 57% of private employers prefer candidates from AAU over candidates from [a traditional university]

  • Reasons given by industry:

    • good skills in team work

    • innovation skills

    • project management skills

    • ability to acquire new knowledge and skills

    • methodological and structured way of working

Kandidat 2002


An industry society perspective1

- an industry/society perspective

One respondent in the survey said:

  • “The ones [i.e. the candidates] coming from, for example, Aalborg University, go in and work in projects from the start.”

    No lengthy ‘on-the-job’ training is needed!

Kandidat 2002, p. 33


Mona dahms aalborg university denmark mona plan aau dk

Are there one or more institutions which you find particularly good at developing engineering education according to the needs of society and companies?

Ingeniøren, 2008


An institutional perspective

- an institutional perspective

Advantages of PBL are, among others, that PBL:

  • breaks the ‘social heritage’

  • decreases completion time

  • increases retention rate

  • decreases drop out rate

  • supports innovation and entrepreneurship education

  • supports education for sustainability


Mona dahms aalborg university denmark mona plan aau dk

Breaks the ‘social heritage’Students from non-academic families, i.e. parents with no university education (%)

Jyllandsposten 2012


Decreases completion time average time of study 3 years bachelor 2 years master

Decreases completion timeAverage time of study 3 years bachelor + 2 years master


Improves retention rate students completing their studies

Improves retention rateStudents completing their studies (%)

Universities Denmark 2011


Decreases drop out rate

Decreases drop out rate


Supports innovation and entrepreneurship education ee

Supports innovation and entrepreneurship education (EE)

EE:

  • Interdisciplinary and integrated approach to learning

  • Active methods of engaging students’ creativity and innovativeness

  • Hands-on real-lifelearningexperiences

  • Outside-the-classroomactivities

  • Experientiallearning processes

  • Diverse student bodyenabling innovation

PBL:

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Action oriented

  • Real-life problems

  • Contextualised

  • Theory – practice relation

  • Experiencebased

  • Team organised

  • Participant directed


Supports education for sustainability es

Supports education for sustainability (ES)

ES:

  • Multiperspectivecontext

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Team based

  • Empowering

  • Critical and systemicthinking

  • Creative, innovative and constructive

  • Consciousnessof limits

  • Challenging

  • Life long learning

PBL:

  • Contextualised

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Team organised

  • Participant directed

  • Criticallyquestioning

  • Action oriented

  • Theory – practice relation

  • Dialogic and democratic

BUP, 2013; Guerra, 2012


A teacher perspective

- a teacher perspective

  • Closer relation between your research and your teaching

  • Working with motivated and interested students is almost like working with younger colleagues

  • You become a life long learner and learn together with your students – more fun than just lecturing the same old stuff you know by heart ;-)


A student perspective

- a student perspective

Working with real life problems

  • meets the interests of students and therefore

  • enhances motivation, study efforts and competence achievement which

  • increases employability


A student perspective1

- a student perspective

  • AAU students on problem orientation:

    • ”This way of learning is much better than only attending lectures, because I have to know why I need to learn this. When I know the objective clearly, I learn much better.”

    • ”We are engineers – our responsibility is to solve real technological problems.”

    • ”When working on a problem, I am strongly motivated and attracted. We need to solve this problem.”

Du 2006


A student perspective2

- A student perspective

  • ”Our generation has … a number of characteristics… We are independent. We are good at seeking information. We are very aware that we will be working in ‘the real world’ when we complete our studies. And therefore, application of knowledge is important to us. We refuse to do things just because ‘this is how you do’. We want our studies to be meaningful.”

  • I wonder if African students are very different from Danish students in this respect?

Vestergaard 2014; own translation


Time for questions and discussion

… time for questions and discussion …


Part ii c h allenges and strategies for implementing pbl in teaching and learning

Part II: Challenges and strategies for implementing PBL in teaching and learning

Facilitators comments based on country reports and on previous presentation from African Regional Conference on Engineering Education (ARCEE), Dar es Salaam, April 2008


Why introduce pbl in africa

Why introduce PBL in Africa?

PBL addresses some of the main challenges to universities in Africa:

  • Defective and irrelevant curricula, not responsive to African society

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and relevance to society

PBL and Relevance to Society

PBL emphasises

  • the use of local, i.e. African, formal and informal knowledge,

  • combined with Western knowledge,

  • in analysing and solving local, i.e. African real-life problems

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and relevance to industry 1

PBL and Relevance to Industry - 1

DTU

AAU

ARCEE keynote - April 2008

Ingeniøren 2004


Why introduce pbl in africa1

Why introduce PBL in Africa?

PBL addresses the main challenges to universities in Africa:

  • Irrelevant curricula not responsive to African society

  • Traditional approaches to teaching and learning

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and learning

PBL and Learning

PBL emphasises

  • creation of knowledge for problem solving

  • transformation of information into new knowledge

  • translation of new knowledge into applications

  • learning to learn

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Learning to learn 1

Learning to Learn - 1

City University of Hong Kong:

After 15 months of study, ‘non-academic’ first year students following a PBL curriculum showed greater improvements (28%) in meta-cognitive processes of planning, monitoring and evaluating their own learning than a matched group of ‘academic’ first year students following a non-PBL curriculum with the same contents (0%).

Downing 2007

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Learning to learn 2

Learning to Learn - 2

Learning And Studying Strategy Inventory

Downing 2007

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Why introduce pbl in africa2

Why introduce PBL in Africa?

PBL addresses the main challenges to universities in Africa:

  • Irrelevant curricula not responsive to African society

  • Changed modes of knowledge production, teaching and learning

  • Mass education, ’poor’ students, inequities in access

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and mass education

PBL and Mass Education

PBL enhances

  • peer teaching and –learning, thus

  • reduces staff work load on lecturing and marking individual exam papers

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and poor students

Academic Student

B

A > B

A

Non-academic Student

PBL and ‘Poor’ Students

High level engagement

Theorizing

Applying

Relating

Explaining

Describing

Note taking

Memorizing

Low level engagement

Active (i.e. PBL)

Student activity required

Passive

Biggs 2003, p. 4


Pbl and inequities

PBL and Inequities

PBL may address

  • gender inequities because

  • women are attracted to engineering when technology is applied to solve real life problems

    Women in engineering are important because

  • innovation is greatly enhanced by diversity

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Why introduce pbl in africa3

Why introduce PBL in Africa?

PBL addresses the main challenges to universities in Africa:

  • Irrelevant curricula not responsive to African society

  • Changed modes of knowledge production, teaching and learning

  • Mass education, ’poor’ students, inequities in access

  • Brain drain

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


The brain drain

The Brain Drain

  • “More African scientists and engineers are working in the United States than there are in Africa” (Ndulu 2004, p. 60)

  • Estimated African educational investment in highly skilled emigrants to the US: US$ 640 million in 1990 (Ndulu 2004)

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Pbl and brain drain

PBL and Brain Drain

PBL may

  • provide an intellectually challenging learning and research environment

  • enhance the students’ sense of ‘ownership’ of their education and their society

  • utilise the skills and knowledge of Africans abroad as supervisors and sources of information

ARCEE keynote - April 2008


Time for questions and discussion1

… time for questions and discussion …

Take a look at your dynamic list of questions – are there any outstanding questions remaining from today’s activities?


Intended learning outcomes for the workshop1

Intended learning outcomes for the workshop

Afterthis workshop youshouldbeable to

  • describe and discuss the PBL learningtheories and principles

  • describe strategies for, factors in and patterns of change in a higher education institution

  • discuss and analyse challenges and strategies for implementing PBL in yourown institution

    Were the firstlearningoutcomeachievedtoday?


Thank you for today see you all again tomorrow morning

Thank you for today – see you all again tomorrow morning


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