Problem-based learning and the use of ICT: a tale of two units
Ellis, L and Kelder, JC, Problem-based learning and the use of ICT: a tale of two units, Proceedings of Teaching Matters 2010, 24-25 November 2010, Launceston, Tasmania EJ (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]
A Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach to unit design can address the issue of poor participation and engagement with subject matter by students, as was successfully demonstrated by an existing unit in the Master of Information Systems at the University of Tasmania (Ellis et al., 2009). However, the less-structured content and process involved in group work required through the use of a PBL approach generates the further issue of how to monitor and assess individual contributions in collaborative learning processes. Offering two PBL units within the one semester to the same cohort normally would impact student workload by having two problems to solve while working in different groups in each of the units. In this context, a new Masters unit introduced to the Masters of Information Management in 2010 was designed to complement and integrate with an existing unit that was already developed using a PBL approach. Both units utilised Information Communication Technology (ICT) to support group work and to more adequately assess individual contributions. This case study provides insight into the development, delivery and evaluation of these two units.
The delivery method for both units was to provide nine three hour workshops supported by the institutional education platform (MyLO). The first seven workshops delivered the theory for each unit. The theory was delivered using group work learning supported by the instructor. The remaining two workshops combined units in which class members were formed into new groups with members from both units. Both classes were presented with the same problem situation that acted as context for the delivery of the theoretical material. Assessment items across both units were structurally aligned to support the learning process. Four of the five pieces of assessment took the same form, of which the final and major item of assessment required students to submit a single "solution" that was independently marked for each unit against the same criteria while addressing unit specific learning outcomes.
Critical reflection and assessment of individual contribution was supported by PebblePad technology. Students were required to create individual assets on a weekly basis that provided evidence of research and participation in both the initial seven workshops and then the development of the final "solution". Additionally group work interactions were supported by wiki technology in the new unit. Feedback from Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning (SETL) indicated a positive response to embedding technology in assessment.
Non Refereed Conference Paper
Problem Based Learning (PBL), learning technologies, integrated assessmen