Go to the Students section
Go to the Staff section
Go to the Alumni section
Go to the Study here section
Go to the International section
Go to the About section
Go to the Research section
Go to the Business and Employers section
Go to the Support us section
James Doody ITT Dublin
Themes: problem-based learning and enquiry-based learning
Tuesday 2 September 2008, 10.10-11.10 in Weardale
This paper reports on an ongoing longitudinal study which evaluates the effectiveness of using a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach in the teaching of Software Development to first year students in a third level college. Effectiveness is measured firstly by quantifying any change in students’ attainment marks attributable to using PBL in the Software Development module and secondly by quantifying any longer term increase in attainment.
There is strong evidence that PBL increases learner motivation (Bernstein, Tipping, Bercovitz, & Skinner, 1995; Bridges & Hallinger, 1991; Pincus, 1995; Schmidt, Henny, & de Vries, 1992). However, most studies to date have focused on high attainment learners in fields such as medicine and business. This study examines the motivational value of PBL for low attainment learners in the relatively unexplored field of Computing. Motivation in the PBL module is measured using class attendance data, interviews and questionnaires.
The relationship between PBL and learner motivation is investigated using two theories of learner motivation: Goal Theory and Self Determination Theory which provide a framework for explaining learner behaviour.
Other qualitative improvements possibly attributable to PBL, such as any improvement in the learning environment or in students’ enjoyment of the subject, are measured by means of interviews and questionnaires.