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Problem Based Learning for Front-Line Managers Yvonne Delaney
Background Identification of needs Problems and Training Curriculum Development Implementation Methods of Assessment Methods of Evaluation
Background • • Certificate in Management Distant Learning program Must be a better way Delivery of 9 course modules Students attended once a month Half Day Frontline Managers
Identification of needs • Problems were needed • How would we run the opening and closing discussion (distance learning) • Extend the tutorial time • Use available technology • Student Guide • Orientation Day • Staff Support • Department buy-in
Problems and Training • In Search of Business Related Problems • Ireland • Finland • Graduate Diploma in PBL • Staff Training
Curriculum Development Getting the Structure Right Mixing Skills Based exercises in the curriculum Reduced focus on tutor marked assignment Writing the PBL hand book
Table of Contents Description Introduction Staff Roles A 1 What is PBL A 2 Why use PBL for the Certificate in Management A 3 How does the PBL Tutorial Operate? A 4 Participant Roles in the Tutorial A 5 Diagram of Participant Roles A 6 The Assessment Process A 7 What does the Tutor do? A 8 Participation Policies A 9 Conclusions www. sulis. ie
Troublesome Knowledge When troubles come they come not single spies, but in battalions (Hamlet Act 4 Sc 5 ll 83 -84)
Implementation • Almost talked out of the implementation • Last minute revisions to make the design work • More time then expected for the students to embrace the concept of PBL • Need help with the tutorial • The students surprised me • Problems worked better then expected • Semester 2, Students wrote their own problems • Students embraced technology in 2 nd semester • Revised method of assessment in semester 2
Overall Assessment of Semester 1 from Each Module 1 Tutor Marked Assignment (Summative Assessment) 60% 2 4 Skills Based Practical Exercises (Summative Assessment) 40% 3 PBL Tutorial Performance Formative Assessment Form ative Total 100%
Overall Assessment of Semester 2 nd from Each Module 1 Tutor Marked Assignment (Summative Assessment) 40% 2 4 Skills Based Practical Exercises (Summative Assessment) 30% 3 PBL Tutorial Performance (Summative Assessment) 30% Total 100%
Evaluation • Qualitative methods • Focus is on student experience • Tools – Survey & questionnaire – Monthly evaluation sheets – Survey Monkey – Findings published • Feedback to key stakeholders
The Student Voice Question Answer What were your feelings and views towards the method of delivery? • Worried about PBL at the start of the module. • Much better understanding of the course material and content What effect, if any, had Problem Based Learning on the development of other skills? • Great Team-working Skills • Improved Communication To what extent had Problem Based Learning influenced your learning process? • Better equipped to engage in discussion. • It allows students to stand on their own feet more To what extent had facilitation impacted on the learning experience? • Able to work with Facilitator
Future Developments Ø Successful implementation of PBL will not come easily Ø This may cause further difficulties at personal, academic and financial levels Ø Faculty will require extensive training Ø University management will be required to modify academic regulations Ø Reduction in course content Ø Comprehensive PBL community requires determination and commitment from all levels to make it work Ø Student Ø Faculty Ø Management
Four reasons to be cheerful Ø Enables students to understand their own situations and frameworks Ø Helps students to perceive how they learn Ø Is a troublesome space Ø Is a threshold concept Ø Professor Maggie Savin Baden
References • • • Albanese, M. (2000). Problem-based learning: why curricula are likely to show little effect on knowledge and clinical skills. Medical Education 34(9): 729 -738. Albanese, M. & Mitchell, S. (1993). Problem-based learning: A review of the literature on its outcomes and implementation issues. Academic Medicine 68(1): 52 -81 Boud, D "Problem-based learning in perspective, " in Problem-based Learning in Education for the Professions, D. Boud, Ed. Sydney: Higher Education Research Society of Australasia, 1985, pp. 13 -18. Barrows, H. S. and R. M. Tamblyn (1980) "Problem-based learning: an approach to medical education", Springer Publishing Co. , New York. Barrows, H. (1994). Practice-Based Learning: Problem-Based Learning Applied to. Medical Education, Springfield, IL: SIU School of Medicine Gijselaers, W. (1995). Perspectives on problem-based learning. In W. Gijselaers, D. Tempelaar, P. Keizer, J. Blommaert, E. Bernard & H. Kasper (Eds. ), Educational Innovation in Economics and Business Administration: the Case of Problem-based Learning (pp 39 - 52). Norwell, Mass. :
Ten Considerations for Course Design
1 jewels in the curriculum Threshold concepts can be used to define potentially powerful transformative points in the student’s learning experience. In this sense they may be viewed as the ‘jewels in the curriculum’.
2 importance of engagement Existing literature regarding teachers who want students to develop genuine understanding of a difficult concept points to the need for engagement eg. They must ask students to explain it represent it in new ways apply it in new situations connect it to their lives and NOT simply recall the concept in the form in which it was presented (Colby, et. al, 2003: p 263) .
3 listening for understanding However, teaching for understanding needs to be preceded by listening for understanding. We can’t second guess where students are coming from or what their uncertainties are. It is difficult for teachers to gaze backwards across thresholds.
4 reconstitution of self Grasping a concept is never just a cognitive shift; it also involves a repositioning of self in relation to the subject. This means from the viewpoint of curriculum design that some attention has to be paid to the discomforts of troublesome knowledge
5 recursiveness The need for the learner to grasp threshold concepts in recursive movements means that they cannot be tackled in a simplistic 'learning outcomes' model where sentences like 'by the end of the course the learner will be able to. . ’ undermine the complexities of the transformation a learner undergoes (postliminal variation). Consideration of threshold concepts to some extent ‘rattles the cage’ of a linear, outcomes-based approach to curriculum design.
6 tolerating uncertainty Learners tend to discover that what is not clear initially often becomes clear over time. So there is a metacognitive issue for the student (self-regulation within the liminal state) and a need for the teacher to provide a ‘holding environment' (Winnicott 1960)
7 Dynamics of Assessment
• Implies need to reconsider the nature of stimulus, protocol and signification in assessment practices • Why do some students productively negotiate the liminal space and others find difficulty in doing so? Does such variation explain how the threshold will be, or can only be approached (or turned away from) as it ‘comes into view’? And how does it ‘come into view’?
• problem of signification of a particular understanding when the concept is outwith the domain of prior experience • need to monitor progress by revealing thought processes that generally remain private and troublesome to the learner (Cohen, 1987). • in traditional assessment, a student can produce the ‘right’ answer while retaining fundamental misconceptions (Marek, 1986). • potential value of concept mapping to explore such variation (Kinchin and Hay 2006)
pre-liminal variation identifies variation in how the portal initially comes into view, how it is initially perceived or apprehended, and with what mindset it may therefore be approached or withdrawn from.
liminal variation how the portal, that is the liminal space itself, is entered, occupied, negotiated and made sense of, passed through or not.
post-liminal variation Variation in the point and state of exit into a new conceptual space, and the epistemological and ontological terrain encountered from that point onwards. This mode constitutes post-liminal variation indicating the trajectory of the student’s future learning and residual misconceptions and misunderstandings.
sub-liminal variation Variation in the extent of the learner’s awareness and understanding of an underlying game or episteme – a ‘way of knowing’ – which may be a crucial determinant of progression (epistemological or ontological) within a conceptual domain. Variation in such tacit understanding constitutes a mode of sub-liminal variation.
8 contestability of generic ‘good pedagogy’ There is emerging indicative evidence that the ‘good pedagogy’ of relating concepts to everyday phenomena, or simplifying them, can break down, eg depreciation, opportunity cost.
9 the underlying game (sub-liminal variation) The need to recognise the ‘games of enquiry we play’ (Perkins 2006). Disciplines are more than bundles of concepts. They have their own characteristic epistemes. Need for students to recognise the ‘underlying episteme’ or game and develop epistemic fluency.
10 professional development Possibility of using thresholds framework to design more discipline-specific programmes of professional development.
References • Meyer JHF and Land R 2003 Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge – Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practising’ in Improving Student Learning – Ten Years On. C. Rust (Ed), OCSLD, Oxford • Meyer JHF and Land R 2005 ‘Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (2): epistemological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning’ Higher Education, May. • Land, R. , Cousin, G. , Meyer, J. H. F. & Davies, P. (2005) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (3): implications for course design and evaluation, in: C. Rust (Ed. ) Improving student learning: diversity and inclusivity (Oxford, OCSLD), 53– 64.
ray. land@strath. ac. uk