Problem based learning for distance education students of engineering and surveying

Brodie, Lyn (2007) Problem based learning for distance education students of engineering and surveying. In: ConnectED 2007: International Conference on Design Education, 9-12 July 2007, Sydney, Australia.

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[Abstract}]: Reviews of engineering education have highlighted the need for an improvement in student’s teamwork, communication, problem solving and life long learning skills. In addition,
students need to learn the foundational skills of mathematics and science required to practice engineering. In particular, they need to apply this knowledge to solving complex engineering problems and reaching substantiated conclusions. To address these concerns many universities are moving, at least in part, to a Problem Based Learning (PBL)

In 2001 the USQ Faculty of Engineering and Surveying introduced a strand of four PBL courses. The unique aspect of our courses is that 75% of our student cohort are distance education students, studying across Australia and the world. We have successfully delivered 8 offers of the course on-campus and 12 offers to distance students. Students work in multidisciplinary teams to solve open ended complex engineering problems, identifying and meeting individual learning goals in the process. The majority of these teams do not meet face to face but conduct all team communication, problem solving and assessments using electronic communication media.

This paper discusses the implementation of the course for a diverse cohort of students including assessment strategies. It gives the results of surveys investigating student learning and attitudes to the new teaching methodology. Results indicate that initially there is significant resistance to PBL from both staff and students. However, a majority of students believe it has significantly improved their communication, problem solving and teamwork skills.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Made live 9/1/2008 when no response recvd to copyright permission inquiry.URl not operational 27/2/12 HH
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2008 00:10
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: Problem Based Learning, PBL, distance education, virtual teams, higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation

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