“Engaging undergraduate students in Problem Based Learning: purpose and value” (Area 2)

Michael Reed (IoE)
The research was conducted by three University tutors, over nine month period with a cohort of students (who were also directly involved in workplace practice) in their final year of a BA (Hons) degree. Teaching focused upon integrated working with children and families. It was taught using an approach based upon Problem based learning. (PBL). The research describes the pedagogy and course design underlying the programme and reveals the forms of engagement and learning used by students. The results were intended to improve course design. Ethical approval for the research was gained from a University Ethics Committee. The methodology involved collaborative engagement between researchers and participants using an approach which is explained as negotiated praxeological inquiry. Findings revealed the PBL approach to be a complex interaction between, students and tutors, which was enhanced when underpinned by a clear pedagogic base. The value of a collaborative research approach was identified as enhancing engagement, in particular the way participants transposed learning personally and professionally. The results informed future course design.

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