1 University of Aveiro and IES Fafe (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
3 Instituto Polit├ęcnico de Tomar (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6151-6156
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2444
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
The 21st century presents a set of factors that challenge the teaching-learning process in a particular context of higher education. Nowadays, due to unemployment, low job offers, precarious contracts among other factors, the labour market is leading to an increase competitiveness among future professionals. Transforming competitive factors into favorable aspects conducive to collaboration is a challenge for teachers. It becomes necessary that this challenge be approached even in the classroom, because the extremely competitive labor market can put in question the way of work and the future of the next generations.

The competition versus collaboration paradigm does not define a single solution, because these efforts are complementary. Nevertheless, depending on each problem situation or context, collaboration may be the most appropriate solution.

To overcome these difficulties in the workplace, a methodological strategy is presented. This proposal is based on Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL is an innovative pedagogical method implemented in education [1]. In social sciences, teachers could propose a brainstorming to develop a group reflection meeting, to identify a case study problem.

There are two possibilities of strategy that can be implemented simultaneously or sequentially, depending on each activity:
i) offer a highly competitive environment: a case study is presented, the different groups identify the problem that will be considered as an object of study. Subsequently, the different working groups will present different solutions, and the best solution will be identified. The group that has proposed the best solution will lead the work to be carried out and applied. Students will develop different skills (e.g. the ability to identify different motivations), mainly at the individual level;
ii) offer a cooperative environment: the second alternative is purposing the students to work as a team, developing skills within the framework of collaboration between groups (e.g. leadership skills, critical thinking, communication, creativity, initiative and teamwork). They should construct a solution together and identify which is the most appropriate solution.

Finally, it will be crucial to compare the results obtained. The positive or negative aspect of results should be linked with the strategy used.
Through the PBL, it is expected that the students acquire specific and important skills for their integration into an increasingly competitive and challenging labour market. It is also important to redefine the role of teacher in the classroom context. Rather than explaining the problem and presenting different solutions, teacher should act as a coaching that guides and advises the student. Moreover, it is important to motivate students to use appropriately the digital media in a productive way, without being distracted by other forms of use, and also, to motivate students to use more traditional media to interact with the real world. The interaction partners could contribute to their learning. In addition to this methodology, teaching-learning is a continuous and flexible process, which can be associated with different strategies of methodology to diversify the results in a classroom. The biggest limitation is that it is not possible to provide a solution applicable to all cases.

[1] Hung, W., Jonassen, D. H., & Liu, R. (2008). Problem-based learning. Handbook of research on educational communications and technology, 3, 485-506.
Problem Based Learning (PBL), Collaboration, Higher Education, Teaching and Learning Methodologies.