Problem-Based Learning Reflection

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1. My teaching experience with Republic Polytechnic – Centre of Innovation & Enterprise: ODOP – PBL teaching approach

I used to be an Academic Associate with the CIE - Republic Polytechnic some 6 years ago. The teaching activity I would be discussing is RP’s “one-day, one problem” - problem-based learning (PBL).

The teaching activity would involve 3 meeting sessions spread within the day and the class consists of not more than 25 students which are required to work in teams of usually not more than 5. The teams would focus on how to respond to an assigned “problem” for the day.

(RP, 2015)

I would start the lesson by presenting to the class a problem statement in the first meeting and the students would discuss the problem statement within their assigned teams usually with a
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RP being the youngest Polytechnic, is not able to attract many of the brightest to study. In fact, when I first started to facilitate at RP, most of the students in the class were from Normal Academic or Technical stream, however in the later years, there seems to be more Express stream students joining RP. I find that the NA/ NT students do experience difficulty to engage in higher-order thinking and deep learning approach independently and naturally, so often, these students may not research or understand the issue deeply. In addition, PBL facilitators are working to create “active questioners” instead of “passive acceptors”, but not all students reach the level to even ask the right questions. In such situation, learning is like a “trial and error” and may result in a waste of time for some. Thus, many facilitators feel that there should be a mixed of lectures and PBL lessons for the students in order for the students achieve the learning objectives, instead of just having the entire module made of 15 “one-day-one problem”
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