PROJECT-BASED LEARNING AND HOW TO LEARN BY IMPROVING SOCIAL PROBLEMS
University of Jaén (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Project-based learning is an approach constructed on the tangible outcome that students produce in small and collaborative groups. The method is a student-centered learning approach based on the principles of constructivism that allows the real-world applications beyond the classroom. Moreover it is focused on the development of creativity, independence and responsibility of each person. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in three subjects of Social Work Degree at University of Jaén (Spain). The project consisted of the detection of social problems and the development, as a final product, of a real intervention to change them. On one hand, student’s perceptions and satisfaction about PBL were measured. On the other hand, the qualifications of the subjects were taken into account. The research involved 223 undergraduate students of Social Work Degree. The age range was from 20 to 53 (M = 23.01, SD = 4.03). Of the total, 91% were women and the remaining 9% were men. To evaluate participant’s perception about PBL a questionnaire was created.
The self-report instrument consisted of 27 items grouped in four dimensions:
b) learning strategies and skills,
c) previous knowledge and concordance with learning objectives,
d) comparison with traditional learning.
A general question about overall satisfaction was also included. First, the results showed that PBL allows a continuum feedback and includes a self and hetero-evaluation. Second, students considered PBL as a way to collaborate with external institutions, and to take on individual responsibilities while encouraging coordination with students, teachers and community. In relation to the third dimension a high equilibrium between the requirements of the method, and the knowledges and skills of students was found. Finally, the dimension that compared traditional learning and PBL got the lowest scores. In general, the scores on the scale were significant different among the three subjects evaluated, although in all cases the perception was quite positive.
Keywords: Project-based learning, Social Work Degree, evaluation, learning strategies, traditional learning.