Innovation in the role of the teacher in PBL: ways of doing PBL
When implementing PBL to a course or a semester, a new pedagogical approach to learning is implemented for both students and teachers. This session elaborates on experiences and difficulties when implementing PBL as well as when developing different approaches to practice. Point of departure will be taken in experiences from an introductory course in engineering mechanics at Aalborg University, Copenhagen, and a training of trainers program from Africa using the Jigsaw classroom approach. Even though the first presentation focus on developing and implementing PBL at course level, the later one provides an approach on how to train the trainers for future PBL implementation. The session will discuss and reflect on questions as: What impact does PBL have in these cases and is any difficulties experienced when implementing a new pedagogical approach to teaching and learning? Furthermore, what training and capacity building teachers and students need for the success development of “new ways of doing PBL”?
Presentation no. 1:
A problem based approach to teaching a course in engineering mechanics, by Imad Abou-Hayt, Bettina Dahl and Camilla Østerberg Rump
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can be defined as a learning environment where problems drive the learning. A teaching session begins with a problem to be solved, in such a way that students need to gain new knowledge before they can solve the problem. This paper discusses the application of PBL to teaching an introductory course in engineering mechanics at Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark for first semester students enrolled in the program “Sustainable Design". We pose realistic problems, which do not necessarily have a single correct solution. Project work in groups also presents itself as a supplement for conventional engineering education. The students themselves should interpret the problem posed, gather needed information, identify possible solutions, evaluate options and present conclusions. The paper also presents an initial assessment of the experiences gained from implementing PBL in the course. We conclude with a discussion of some issues in implementing PBL in engineering and mathematics courses.
Presentation no. 2:
The jigsaw classroom – a student-centered learning approach applied in training of trainers in Africa, by Mona Lisa Dahms, Maryam Ismail, Anthony Zozimus Sangeda and Al Saah
Universities in Africa face challenges such as, textbook-based curricula and outdated pedagogical methods. The Erasmus+ funded project Enhancing Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability in Higher Education in Africa (EEISHEA) aims to address such challenges by ensuring curricula that are relevant to social and economic needs of Africa and are delivered through student-centred learning (SCL) approaches, including problem based learning. Such curricula will serve as “best practice” examples within the African partner universities.
The first part of the project was Training of Trainers (ToT), i.e. training of African teachers to redesign study programmes in accordance with project aims. This ToT was organized according to a modified version of the Jigsaw Classroom, and the research presented in this paper explores the usefulness of this approach in the given context.
Based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, findings documented that the Jigsaw Classroom has the same impact on trainees in adult education, such as ToT, as on students in K-12 classes and in universities, i.e. increased commitment and enhanced collaboration.