About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2791-2800
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0759

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

APPLICATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN EDUCATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE: CASE STUDY IN VILNIUS UNIVERSITY

A. Brilingaitė, L. Bukauskas

Vilnius University (LITHUANIA)
Nowadays university graduates are required to possess not only theoretical skills and subject related knowledge but also the experience in solving practical problems. Top 5 skills Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity, People Management, and Coordinating with Others are emphasised in the report The Future of Jobs prepared by the World Economic Forum in 2016. In Lithuania, studies of the Information Technologies field show that employers prefer candidates to have various practical skills, creative and critical thinking, abilities to work in a team, take responsibility, and solve problems. Problem-based learning (PBL) enables development of these critical competences when self-directed learning is combined with solving realistic problems in teams.

This paper presents a case study of PBL application in the study program Information Technologies at Vilnius University. PBL was integrated into the study program as a PBL project after the concept of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) was implemented at the national level during the Tuning process. Study program Information Technologies was selected as an example to illustrate the guidelines of competence development in the field of computer science. Transfer to competence-based and student-oriented learning inspired to make program modifications to give students a possibility to acquire deeper professional skills when solving practical larger scale problems. Modifications were expected to increase student motivation and to provide skills emphasised by employers and graduates in various studies.

The PBL project is integrated into autumn and spring semesters of the second year of studies for the branch of the study program. The branch is selected by students that want to work in teams on various problems. The branch students make one academic group among 4-5 groups of the course. This paper considers only the autumn PBL project as it has been run for four cycles. The paper shares insights of the PBL integration into the study program that belongs to the university having old teaching traditions.

The structure of the project module is presented together with the study modules that are organised in the same semester. The PBL project is three times larger than a standard 5 credit course. The distinct and specific feature of the course among faculty programs and courses is an organisation of lectures in an informal environment. The PBL project is based on Aalborg model with modifications related to local experiences. The Aalborg model adjustments include checkpoints and additional activities from team building games to student presentations to develop generic competences. The problems for students to be solved are generated by the faculty members and the industrial partners. The final project has a written report and a working computer program. Students work on very diverse topics in teams but planned activities help to get knowledge on the other group topic. The challenges and risks of the PBL project are discussed in the paper. The biggest problem seems to be student inability to do time planning. Also, IT specialists are in high demand and students start working in companies even in early years of studies. Sometimes this issue makes a teamwork inappropriate. Directions to improve the PBL project course and to continue PBL integration into further semesters are also presented in the paper.
@InProceedings{BRILINGAITE2017APP,
author = {Brilingaitė, A. and Bukauskas, L.},
title = {APPLICATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN EDUCATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE: CASE STUDY IN VILNIUS UNIVERSITY},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0759},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0759},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {2791-2800}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Brilingaitė AU - L. Bukauskas
TI - APPLICATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN EDUCATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE: CASE STUDY IN VILNIUS UNIVERSITY
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0759
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 2791
EP - 2800
ER -
A. Brilingaitė, L. Bukauskas (2017) APPLICATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN EDUCATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE: CASE STUDY IN VILNIUS UNIVERSITY, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 2791-2800.
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