Home List of Titles Identifying and supporting students 'at risk' during transition towards a problem-based learning curriculum
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/194490
- Identifying and supporting students 'at risk' during transition towards a problem-based learning curriculum
- Stojcevski, Alex; Jayasuriya, Kanchana; Veljanovski, Ronny
- The objective of this paper is to illustrate and describe the transition to problem based learning, and to report on a project undertaken to identify students 'at risk' in this transition. The project was to develop methods to identify students 'at risk' in the new VEB1001 -- PBL & Engineering Practice 1A, which is a core unit of study in the Bachelor of Engineering and Electrical Engineering program which commenced in Semester 1 2006. Therefore, the most critical outcome of this project was to decrease student failure rate in the engineering courses. This characteristic was evaluated at the end of semester 1, July 2006, by comparing the failure rates in the PBL unit and the traditional lecture based units. Some of the activities in order to identify students 'at risk', which took place within the first five weeks of semester 1 were activities such as: evaluation exercises in order to identify the language and communication skills of the students, reflective assignment work on the technical contents of the unit, as well as reflective piece of writing on language. In addition to this, team supervisors seek out different students each day to discuss issues related to their course, and project work submission in a team environment, which assisted to identify problems in terms of team dynamics. Once students 'at risk' were identified early in the semester, additional or extra workshops were setup for those identified 'at risk'. The additional workshops, which were pre-planed and timetabled for semester 1, emphasised on technical aspects of the unit, and on language and communication. In regards to language and communication, further support was planed for student requiring assistance in English as Second Language (ESL). Academic staff from the Language and Communications Support (L&C) department within Victoria University were informed of these issues and the workshops were timetabled for semester 1. A very critical and detailed project management plan in terms of identification factors and support mechanisms was also setup and is presented in this paper. The successful development of the support mechanisms is now used in semester 2 of the course, and in other engineering courses within Victoria University. Results indicate that retention rates have improved by 25% as compared to retention rates in 2005. In addition to this, failure rates measurements indicate that 89% of students passed their problem based units, with only 50% passing the traditional lecture based units.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Abstracts of 'Reinventing PBL', the International Problem-Based Learning Symposium, Singapore, 07-09 March 2007, p. 36
- Publication year
- Curricula; Organisational change; PBL; Problem based learning
- Republic Polytechnic
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2007.