PROBLEM-BASED TEACHING APPLIED TO PRACTICAL LABORATORY CLASSES: INFLUENCE OF THE STUDENT'S ACADEMIC PROFILE
University of La Laguna (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has represented a challenge to change the traditional teaching models, based on memorizing, for new teaching systems that allow the student to acquire professional competencies and where self-learning and self-management are promoted. Problem-based teaching allows to generate a learning environment where most of the competencies demanded by employers are developed, such as problem solving, critical thinking, autonomy, communication, and self-autonomy. Problem-based teaching is based on proposing to students an open problem without an obvious solution. In this scenario, students in a guided teaching period must plan the way to find and implement a solution. The implementation of this type of methodology powers learners to conduct research, integrate theory and practice, and apply knowledge and skills to develop a viable solution to a defined problem. The role of the teacher in this type of teaching is completely different from a traditional system where the teacher is the protagonist. In problem-based teaching (PBL) the teacher is in the background and the students are in charge of leading the teaching sessions. In this new educational context, the motivation and commitment of the students is the key to achieve the objectives. This paper compares the results of PBL during a laboratory practice in the last year of two different academic profiles: students of Chemical Engineering and students of Environmental Sciences. The comparative study evaluates the knowledge acquired by means of the results obtained in a multiple-choice test with a single correct option. The analysis of competencies was carried out by means of questionnaires. The results show that regardless of the student's academic profile, when faced with the same problem, they are capable of reaching solutions, deepening and interrelating concepts acquired in class. In reference to the competencies, the students of both degrees consider that this type of system allows them to achieve many more competencies than a traditional system. The students' assessment of this methodology is positive, and they even propose that it should be implemented in the rest of the practical subjects of the current degree program, since they consider that it is a way to encourage motivation, interest, and self-learning of the students.
Keywords: Problem-based learning, motivation, students, self-learning.