About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4050-4055
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: CHANGE PHASES TOWARDS PBL

T. Benz, U. Jaeger

Heilbronn University (GERMANY)
What began as a project on how to introduce project based learning (PBL) to teachers at our university, soon focused on the huge changes we demand from our students as well. Although they generally cherish project work, the learning process based on projects demands a lot from them. We therefore applied change management ideas to teachers and students alike.
The changes we require from our first semester bachelor students in Software Engineering are manifold. They have to change their way of learning, to understand the relevance of many subjects for their future study and work life. They have to form new groups of friends and learning teams, and get accustomed to a high workload. But they are poorly prepared for this. As in many computer science programs, our students barely meet the requirements and have mostly negative experiences with learning at school. So introducing PBL might be a way to help them overcome their difficulties and lacks of knowledge or capabilities.
Our bachelor experiment was a combination of three different subjects in the first semester. Students learn how to work with input from different sources, and work in teams. The teachers organized the project, and the single subjects; we assessed the students and student teams. The experiment observed the students during their learning process and their change process in the way of learning by observation, interviews, and questionaires.
We realized that our students had to go through a change process with several stages and transition phases to change from freshman (student entering university) to a high performer in a University with non PBL environment. In the first stage students are used to a fully controlled and well supported learning environment. In the second phase students have encountered self-learning capabilities, self-assessment capabilities, self-monitoring capabilities, presentation skills, and teamwork skills. But still at least half of their subjects are taught in a classical way. In the third stage at the end of their studies students have internalized these capabilities.

The change process for teachers can be looked at in a similar way. It is very difficult to hand over the learning process to the students and to reduce their own visible activity of teaching. Not having full control of the process and not knowing all answers in advance is perceived as “not doing the job” by some teachers and some students alike. So the aim of our project is to set up a framework that guides both groups through the change process, gives them trust in the new way and in each other as a precondition for acceptance and success. We are convinced that the teacher’s performance alone — however brilliant it might be — cannot make students learn. PBL sees the student in the center of the learning process, and it will be the student who receives the applause.
@InProceedings{BENZ2011WEA,
author = {Benz, T. and Jaeger, U.},
title = {WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: CHANGE PHASES TOWARDS PBL},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4050-4055}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Benz AU - U. Jaeger
TI - WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: CHANGE PHASES TOWARDS PBL
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 4050
EP - 4055
ER -
T. Benz, U. Jaeger (2011) WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: CHANGE PHASES TOWARDS PBL, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 4050-4055.
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