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Introduction to Problem based Learning – The AAU Way

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  1. Introduction to Problem based Learning – The AAU Way A Course given by: Xiangyun Du Department of development and planning Fibigerstraede 13, DK - 9220 Aalborg East Phone: + 45 99408353, e-mail: xiangyun@plan.aau.dk Lars Peter Jensen Department of Control Engineering Fredrik Bajers Vej 7C, DK - 9220 Aalborg East Phone: + 45 99408740, e-mail: lpj@es.aau.dk URL: http:/es.aau.dk/staff/lpj Assistant and Associated Professor at Aalborg University

  2. Wednesday, the 30th of January 2008: The Aalborg model      9.00      Welcome by lecturer Xiangyun Du and Lars Peter Jensen            Introduction and presentation of lecturer and participants.            Discussion of participants expectations (reflection-for-action).            Introduction to the program. 10.15      Coffee 10.45      PBL as educational model and Practice at Aalborg University 12.00      Lunch 13.00      PBL as educational model and Practice at Aalborg University - continued 13.30      Structure and conditions: Structure of Aalborg University Working tasks for VIP's Directing the studies        Teaching task's    14.10      Coffee 14.30       Intercultural Communication in a PBL environment 16.00       End of day one

  3. Thursday, the 31th of January 2008: Supervision + courses 9.00         Introduction to role play  9.15         Exercise: Role play of a supervising situation 10.00       Coffee 10.20       Exercise continued 12.00       Lunch 13.00       Supervision 14.15       Coffee 14.45       Courses Description Syllabus Exercises in groups               Differences between project course (PE) and study course (SE) 15.15       Unanswered questions 15.45       Until next time ? 16.00       End of day two

  4. PBL as Educational Model and Practice at Aalborg University Lars Peter Jensen Xiangyun Du Aalborg University

  5. Overview • Why PBL - Challenges and changes in engineering education • What is PBL • PBL principles and theories • PBL Aalborg Practice • Students experiences in PBL environment at AAU

  6. Diversity of engineering competencies Scientific knowledge • Process competencies • Project management • Communication • Teamwork • Organization Technical competencies

  7. Globalized context Effective communication Interdisciplinary knowledge Designing and conducting experiments Identity and solve applied science problems Application of mathematics and science knowledge Analytical skills Lifelong learning Project management Team work Social, environmental, and ethical concerns Intercultural competences Engineering competencies Diverse capabilities • National Academy of Engineering, The Engineer of 2020, 2004 • EUR-ACE (Accreditation of European Engineering Programmes and Graduates,http://www.feani.org/EUR_ACE/EUR_ACE_Main_Page.htm • - ABET: http://www.abet.org/

  8. Changing traditional teaching and learning In TRADITIONAL learning environment What the student can learn within a given time Border of presently “known” knowledge Border of “new” nowledge - ever expanding

  9. Changing traditional teaching and learning Deeper learning through project work Student’s own interest Key competences Scope and specific aims Methodicalskills

  10. Educational changes in Denmark • New study programs: enriched engineering disciplines • New expectations: broadened engineering skills and competences • New study forms: implementing student centred and work place-imitated learning environment (for example, PBL as an educational strategy) New challenges and tasks for educators

  11. What is problem-based learning? A learning method based on the principle of using problems as a starting point for the acquisition and integration of new knowledge. - H.S. Barrows 1982

  12. Where and how are PBL practiced? • Pioneers • McMaster 1968 • Maastricht 1972 • Linköping 1972 • Roskilde 1972 • Aalborg 1974 • Different practices • Single courses • Problem & project organized • Individual project • Team work

  13. Diversity of PBL • PBL: Problem based learning • PBL: Project based learning • POL: Project organised learning • POPBL: Problem based and Project organized Learning (Aalborg version) • PBLE: Problem based learning engineering • TPL: Total Project Learning (Finland) • P5BL: Problem, project, product, process and people (Stanford version) • Architecture and Design version: Play based learning

  14. Cognitive Learning • Problem • Project • Experience • Context • Content • Interdisciplinary • Exemplary • Analytical thinking - theory-practice relation • Collaborative • Participant directed • Team work PBL Learning Principles(Kolmos & Graff 2003)

  15. Change to PBL– improvement? Research results from Dochy et al (2003) • deep knowledge; better understanding • Improvement of motivation and engagement among both students and staff Research results from Thomas (2000) • Improved subject interest • Improved engagement and motivation • Difficult to implement • Difficult in relation to independency and self directed learning • Tendency that the effect of PBL is related to the degree of implementation in the organisation

  16. Effect of PBL on students learning • Promoting deep approaches of learning instead of surface approach (Dochy et al 2003, Biggs 2003), • Improving active learning (Graff and Cowdroy 1997, Du 2006a), • Improving engagement and motivation (Thomas 2000, Frenay 2007, Bedard 2007), • Developing criticality of learners (Savin-Baden 2003), • Improving self-directed learning capability (Hmelo & Evensen 2000, Du 2006a), • Increasing the consideration of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills (Kjaersdam 1994, Graaff and Kolmos 2003), • Developing management, collaboration and communication skills (Kolmos 1996, 1999, Du 2006a), • Developing professional identity and responsibility development (Hmelo and Evensen 2000, Kolmos 2006, Du 2006a, 2006b), • Improving the meaningfulness of learning (Savin-Baden 2000, Du 2006a).

  17. Benefit for university / department • Decreasing drop-out rates and increasing rate of on-time completion of study (Kolmos and Graaff 2007); • Supporting development of new competencies for both teaching staff and students (Biggs 2003, Kolmos and Graaff 2007), • Promoting a motivating and friendly learning environment (Du 2006a), and • Accentuating institutional profile (Kolmos and Graaff 2007).

  18. Aalborg Practice

  19. Development of Experience Participation Set up experiments Discuss and start it up Reflection Facilitate Theories and ideas Lecture Theoretical base - Experiential learning - Kolb’s learning cycle 1984

  20. PBL Aalborg Model: Principles of Project-organized problem-solving Learning ‘The Aalborg Experiment – project innovation in university education’ - Kjaersdam & Enemark (1994)

  21. Problems – question – wondering within a frame a project each semester (1. year) each group has a group room group size of 6-8 students first year, 2-3 students the last year each group has at least one supervisor self selected group and projects within themes and disciplines group examination PBL Aalborg Model - practice Lectures 8:15-10:00 Lecture-related Assignment 10:15-12:00 Supervision -initiated & arranged by students Doing project In groups

  22. Study courses and Lectures – max. 7,5 ECTS Project courses lectures seminar min. 7,5 ECTS Examination 33%-50% Project – min. 15 ECTS 50% - 67% Examination PBL AALBORG MODEL

  23. Support to student learning – courses and project Non project supporting courses 25 % • Teaching of basic knowledge. • Not specifically related to the project. • Taught as traditional courses or by other techniques. • Traditional examination. Written or oral. • Individual examination. Written or oral.

  24. Support to student learning – courses and project Project supporting courses 25 % • Courses which specifically support the project. • e.g. economics, environment, planning, sociological methods, specific technical issues, group behavior, and group psychology, working environment, etc. • Can be traditional courses, case studies, etc. • Examination held as part of the project.

  25. Development of different Competences through the study

  26. Team work What ? • A group of students working together on a project • They have to both carry out the project and document the results • Based on the documentation an oral group examination is held, but the marks are individual

  27. Multiple learning resources Social activities Exam Report writing Studying engineering via group projects Life Group meeting Brainstorm Participating communities of practice – active learning, communication, organization, and management Presentation Subgroup work Compromise Disagreement Discussion

  28. Team work Why ? • A survey in 1997 showed that 75% of the companies wanted new employees to have good skills in team work • Most engineers work in teams • The individual student in the group learns from the others (peer learning) • Responsibility towards the group leads to very hard work • Group members provide social support, thus lower drop-out rate

  29. Team work How ? • Each group has a group room • Group size of 6-8 students first year, 2-3 students last year • Students are in charge of forming groups • New groups formed every semester • Team building courses: • Roles, communication, co-operation, conflicts

  30. Projects What ? • A unique task • Have a lot of complex activities • Needs several people with different skills • Have a final goal/objective • Limited resources (time, money, people) • Have to deliver a result at a given time: • As a minimum a written report

  31. Projects Why ? • More and more companies use project organization • Much engineering work is performed as projects • Motivates the students and increases student activity • Secures deep learning in subjects covered in the project • Improves documentation skills

  32. Projects How ? • One project each semester • Necessary theories and methods given in project courses

  33. Semester timing – an example 10 minimodules/week – 1 mm = 4 hours or ½ day 5 uger 5 uger 5 uger

  34. Project process- an example

  35. Projects How ? • One project each semester • Necessary theories and methods given in project courses • Each group has (at least) one supervisor • Documentation: • a written report, oral defence, (construction) • Courses in: • project management and planning

  36. Student Project too broad Student Project too narrow Industriel Project The ideal Student Project The four phase model of a Project Analysis Design Implementation Test

  37. What is analysis? Get an overview of the problem • Asking Questions • See Perspectives Divide into different aspects • Top Down • Bottum Up Look critically at all aspects • Estimate • Measure • Compare

  38. How to start analysing – presentation of two tools • The six W- model • Post It Brain storm • Everybody writes keywords on Post It notes for 5 min • All notes are placed on the blackboard • All notes are read out • Everybody goes to the blackboard and structures the notes together What? Why? Problem Whom? Where? How? When?

  39. Lunch until 13.00

  40. Problems What ? • Three different types of problem based projects at AAU: • The task project • The discipline project • The problem project

  41. The task project • Considerableplanning and control by the supervisors • The problem and the subject as well as the methods are chosen beforehand • The educational objectives are easily controlled • Being a supervisor is easy in that the supervisor knows exactly what is going to be explored in the project and can direct the students' choices in the planned direction.

  42. The task project Problem Discipline

  43. The discipline project • The disciplines and the methods are chosen in advance • The students have to identify and define a problem within the described disciplines • The educational objectives are mostly formulated for each discipline • Being a supervisor in this process may be a bit uncertain, because the students are allowed to make some choices on their own. However, the scientific field is described well and hardly any surprises occur

  44. The discipline project Discipline Problem

  45. The problem project • Based on problems as the starting point • The problem will determine the choice of disciplines, theories and methods • The educational objectives emphasises ability to analyse and methodological skills • The problem has to be chosen within a broader social and technical frame • Being a supervisor in this process may be difficult because it is a self-directed learning process and the supervisor may find him/herself at the edge of capacity

  46. The problem project Problem Discipline

  47. Common features of project work • For all three types of projects, a problem has to be analysed and solved by means of different theories and methods • The phases of the project are common to all three project types

  48. Problems Why ? • Real world problems are interdisciplinary and complex • It is a learner-centred process • It meets the learners' interests and enhances motivation • It emphasizes development of analytical, methodological and transferable skills

  49. AAU students on problems • ”We are engineers – our responsibility is to solve real technological problems.” • ”This is the first time we found a real problem ourselves rather than getting something from supervisors. It is really exciting. It fits my way of learning. I learn better when I find the way myself. 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.” • ”When working on a problem, I am strongly motivated and attracted. We need to solve this problem.” Xiangyun Du, 2005