Problem based learning dissertation

Document Type:Dissertation

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

Problem statement 6 1. Purpose of the study. Objectives of the study. Research questions. CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW. Definitions and Influences of PBL. Effects of PBL on Student’s Attitude. PBL and Gender. PBL and Technology. Behavior of students with high potential in mathematics as a subject. Behaviorism. Cognitive theory. Information Processing Theory. Working memory. Long-term memory. Cognitive Load Theory. Intrinsic cognitive load. Extraneous Cognitive Load. This section is constituted in the manner in which the instruction 24 2. Germane Cognitive Load. The worked example effect. The problem completion effect. Metacognition. Problem-Based Learning. PBL and Student Results. Challenges in Implementing PBL. Scaffolding. The contribution of the learner and the teacher in 32 3. The learner’s role. The teacher’s role. Summary. CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY. Research Methods. Research formulations and participants. The Research Design. Data Collection. Data Analysis. Data collection tools. Stage 1: Teacher-based questionnaires. Stage 2: Student-based questionnaires. Stage 3: Conducting teacher-based interviews. Stage 4: Conducting student-based interviews. Data Analysis. CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS. The teacher’s opinion on PBL and its 50 4. Teacher participants. Teachers view on the implementation of PBL approach. The set-up of the group of students. Students’ view of the implementation of PBL in the mathematics 53 4. Student participants. Students view on the use of PBL in their studies. Allocation of students into groups. Organization of tasks in the group. Experience of the students through PBL. CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS. To discover the level of expertise among the teachers who implemented use of PBL in their classes. To seek in-depth knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of PBL approach from the teachers’ point of view.

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To investigate and comprehend the effect of using PBL in Malaysia from the students’ point of view. Significance of the study. Conclusions. Recommendations. Suggestions for future research. CHAPTER I: NTRODUCION 1. Generality of the study. Background. His famous quote in which he noted that if teaching today was done as the old days, we could be robbing our children is a clear indication of how urgent the PBL institutions should be implemented. The thirst for deeper insights in learning led to the upcoming of PBL as an alternative teaching method. PBL is developed in such a way that it involves the students in investigative activities (Blumenfeld et al, 1991; McGrath, 2004; and Makinster et al, 2001). The works of Thomas (2000), Soloway (1994) and Max described PBL as a major section that was composed of five sub-sections: 1.

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Collaboration of students in research. It is viewed as a very dull class. Throughout the whole research there have been three consistent upcoming issues. First, in many instances, the learners the base from which they can come up with the solutions that could be used to solve their problems. Number two, the vast amount of resources in a traditional environment will make learners to overthink and in the long run can lead to them giving up due to frustrations. Lastly, Learners lack the skills that would allow them to fully make use of their learning environments. The 6th grade students were chosen for three major reasons. First, is because the Malaysian primary school was located at a unique place in the District. The second reason was because the school had already employed the use of PBL in instruction giving.

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The last reason is that the District of Kangsar had portrayed a continuous trend of decline among the 6th grade students. Objectives of the study. This section of the dissertation summarizes the theories, concepts and arguments used in formulating the research procedures. It defines the role of PBL in learning. In whole, it discusses the role of technology in the implementation of PBL. Ellington, Rice, Johnson and Prime in 2012 stated that effective learning is associated to with the ability to explore, inquire, solving of problems and critical thinking. Chapter 2 gives a brief history of the literature and the topic of study and its relationship to students’ performance. He defines PBL as a series of tasks based on problems that gets the learner involved in critical thinking, research, investigations that enable students to come up with correct results.

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The whole PBL process is designed to enable students to find the link between the topic of study and the relevant issues to solving the problems. Through PBL, students are able to connect class work study to real life issues or occurrences. The Buck Institute for Education, 2012 also states that PBL helps in enhancing careers, application of technology, and engagement of students practically. PBL has been viewed by many as a get way to enabling learners to handle real- life and critical issues in the current 21st century in comparison to the traditional method (Bell, 2010; Blumenfeld et al, 1991; D’Orio, 2012). This was attributed to the inability of the learner to apply what is taught in class to real-life situation. This were noted by Dewey (1900) where he noted that isolation from life was attributed to the isolation of school.

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The implementation of PBL focuses on the student. It was noted (Harris and Katz, 2001) that PBL aimed at involving the learner in deeper investigations about the problem thus learning more about it rather than the learner being subject to strict procedures towards getting solutions to problems. PBL has also been defined as the base of studies and not just an alternative approach in the process of learning (David, 2008). This enables the learners to see the essence of the study topic. It largely depends on how the teacher will formulate the design of the topic. Skills acquired from the 21st century constitute the fifth component. PBL enables students to acquire skills that include cooperation, critical thinking and the application of technology. The aspect of inquiry and innovation make up the sixth component.

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They are: 1. The problem should be realistic. The problem should be able to involve the learner in activities such as investigations and critical thinking. The projects are the base of curriculum. The problem should be student-driven. They acquire skills in investigations and critical thinking. They also acquire collaboration skills. They are enhanced with time management skills and learn different ways of approach to a singular project. For our children to survive and be well equipped to face the current trends in the world, they must have these skills. This will be an insurance for their survival. It is because of the effects of attitude towards the learning process that researchers went out to investigate on alternative learning methods that would help in developing good attitude in the student. Thus PBL would have different reactions from the students.

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PBL is a great achievement in enhancing and improving the student’s interest in learning (Delisle, 1997). It encourages teamwork among groups (Uden, 2006) and facilitates the attainment of skills. PBL gives the students the opportunity to participate actively in problem-solving. These studies have however brought out contradicting findings from the results. In one instance, the studies have shown that boys outperform the girls in mathematics (Fennema, 2000; Kaiser-Messmer, 1994; Muthukrishna, 2010). These studies also have given enough evidence that on almost all math exams, boys perform better than girls. In contrary to these findings, a group of researchers have noted that girls perform better than boys (David and Weiner 1999). The correlation between PBL and sex has continued to be a major area of study for researchers. According to Boaler, male and female students opted for learning using an approach that allowed them to complete their problems on their own time zones.

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Boys like to work fast and ensure that they are in the right lane, they perceive these as the right tracks to succeed. Girls on the other side embrace learning where they engage in critical thinking in which they come up with new tactics. They are more concerned with gaining comprehension of the problem than easily getting the solution. PBL and Technology. Eskrootchi and Oskrochi concluded that the learner achieves or becomes best active when they work in a PBL-simulated environment. Studies conducted by Hernandez-Ramos and De ;a Paz (2009) also note that learners in PBL classrooms obtain more knowledge than those who are taught using the traditional methods. Behavior of students with high potential in mathematics as a subject. Krutetskii (1976) gave clear and unique characteristics of students who had a high potential in comprehending and understanding mathematics in the simplest way.

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He explained that such students were diversified in areas involving calculations and they also were skilled in elaborating any circumstances that involved arithmetic. According to the works of Watson, he defined behaviorism as a branch of science that deals with predicting responses to the environment (Watson 1913). Behaviorism considers how the effects of a response define the behavior and characteristics prominently (Burton, 1992; Schunk, 1991). It defines learning as the reaction of the learner to the conditions within their environment which shapes their behavior. The main concern of behaviorists is in investigating the behavior of humans (Jonassen, 1991). According to the theory, knowledge is portrayed in the patterns of responses. Cognitive perspectives majorly deal with what content the learners have and how the acquire it (Jonassen, 1991). It says that mental processing is largely concerned with how the learner responds to stimuli of the environment.

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Learning involves implementing changes to a system so as to improve its performance and enable it to perform different works (Langley and Simon, 1981). Information Processing Theory. According to Ormrod, 2004, information processing theory deals with the way learners acquire information, store the information in a mental manner, and then retrieve the same information from memory in order to utilize it. Long-term memory. This part of memory is designed to store very large amounts of information (Sweller. Van Merrienboer and Paas, 1998). Learning occurs as a process of changes taking place in the long term memory through the formation of well-formed schema (Schunk, 1991). Schemas are structures that arrange information in an order in which they will be retrieved (Sweller and Chandler, 1994). The three categories of cognitive load which are crucial in instruction design include; intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive loads.

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Intrinsic cognitive load. This type of design is determined by the instruction nature. The interactivity of elements (the range in which the instruction elements interact) is the major aspect of intrinsic cognitive load (Sweller and Chandler, 1994). High order instruction elements are complex to understand. This section is constituted in the manner in which the instruction material is presented, rather the processes that the students are engaged in. This category specifically involves the students in cognitive tasks that do not associate with the building of schemas. Extraneous cognitive load comes handy when designing PBL in order to enhance studies (Sweller et al. To reduce the interaction of elements, the students structure the materials in a particular manner. Germane Cognitive Load. Similar to the goal-free effect, PBL is designed to involve experts to inquire about huge numbers of elements that interact.

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The learner develops schemas of solving problems through worked examples instead of acquiring these skills through solving the problems at first hand. For instance, a latest research on higher study institutions proves that the students agree with the use of worked example on an individual level as much as the group level (Retnowati, Ayres and Sweller, 2010). The research was carried out under stipulated conditions where the students were tasked with individually solved problems or team work. They were then allowed to use worked examples or very little supervised PBL. This term was initially defined by Flavell in 1979. He described metacognition as the process of “thinking about thinking”. Ormrod described metacognition to include the following elements: being able to know the most useful strategies, carrying counter checks of one’s abilities, having techniques for obtaining information, effective planning and problem awareness and limitations of the memory.

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As noted by Swanson (1990), the performance of a student could be determined by the student’s metacognitive strength. Problem-Based Learning. The ownership of the guidelines used should solely be the student’s. The students environments should be develop in such a way that it gives the learner a less difficult task in thinking. Encourage the learners to embrace new inventions or ideas. Support the student’s work in the study process. PBL and Student Results. Krishnan and Vale noted that cooperative and teamwork skills that were obtained through PBL learning were very vital to positive results in learning in the study they conducted of first-year students of engineering. It has also been noted that groups which embrace a cooperative learning culture possess very good skills in communication and in involvement. Reports from previous studies have also indicated that in PBL-taught centers, there is a high level of student involvement because it puts the learners in a real-world on problem solving (Belland, et al.

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For instance, in a study of a certain economics class, PBL session was greatly successful as it engaged both students with low and high abilities. Another research noted that PBL greatly contributed in the attitude of learners which was a major cause of their motivation. Thus, PBL is far much more efficient than traditional methods to teach skilled expertise and to encourage a long-term application of knowledge (Strobel and van Barneveld, p. Challenges in Implementing PBL. Many teachers perceive PBL to have a lot of benefits to their students and thus they are often very flexible in adopting its use. Several researchers illustrate the potential challenges that educators often face in applying problem-based learning (Ertmer et al. Hoffman & Ritchie, 1997; Jonassen, 2000). These factors have majorly contributed to the slow progress in the implementation of PBL.

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These limiting factors make it difficult for institutions to use technology to implement PBL classrooms. Scaffolding. This is the basic method in which support is offered to students in PBL-based classrooms. Scaffolding as described by Wood, Bruner and Ross in 1976 is any form of help that the student receives so as to achieve or solve any task that would be hard for them to accomplish without help. • Strategic steps on how to give the problem at hand an approach. A scaffold technique that is made up of three sections was developed by Quintana (2004). These three sections included: 1. Tools which facilitate the student in modifying and analyzing data. Scaffolds that enable the student to analyze the sequence of research. For PBL to be successful in any class, the learner must actively participate in the learning process.

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The learners are advised to research on the necessary tools they will use in order to accomplish their goals. They are required to engage themselves in critical thinking. Team work is a great deal tasked upon the students in PBL classrooms. This enhances their understanding on the study topic and also contributes largely to the students developing their skills in communication. The major role of the teacher in the implementation of PBL is to motivate the learner. This is achieved in many was such as designing the question or problem in a way that it awakens or stimulates the learners towards finding the solution to the problem. The teacher is required to make a change in all the methods of approaches to situations in the classroom (Torp and Sage, 1998). Through the duty of a facilitator, the teacher acts as a source of reference for the students.

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The facilitator is tasked with a major role of motivating the students. The teachers should also design problems which the students are familiar with. Jonassen (2000) advocates for the design of problems which the students are familiar with as they would already have the criteria hence the problem will be more structured. In addition, Jonassen (2000) notes that the process of solving a problem is composed of two stages. First, the student should be able to design the problem space. Second, the student should have skills of modifying the problem space using any internal or external factors. This method is applied in solving problems that are unfamiliar with the students. This method also has its shortcomings as it is always tideous for the students. Knowledge-based technique. This technique involves the use of previous knowledge about the problem and the skills from previous problems to develop a criteria for approach to the problem.

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Having a good knowledge base about a particular problem serves as references for the students. Not to forget, the study also sought to investigate the end results of scaffolds on PBL. The pre-test and post-test method has been used. Research Methods. The research that I undertook was a qualitative research. My research qualifies as a qualitative research majorly because it composes of procedures that I used to arrive at descriptive data. I inquired on a variety of the participants view by issuing out a number of closed questions. I also employed quantitative research to come up with statistical data analysis of the view of the participants towards the PBL implementation. Creswell (2005, p. noted that for a research to qualify as a quantitative research, the researcher should come up with a study topic, ask questions, collect data in numeric form, analyze and carry out investigations in a way that is objective.

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My major aim of using these two mixed methods was so as to have a clear view on the pros of qualitative and quantitative data of my research. For the study to be successful, a number of research questions were formulated; 1. What impact does PBL have on the student’s performance in the primary school? 2. What impact does PBL have on the average grade in mathematics among the 6TH grade students? 3. The Research Design. The major research design that was used in my study was the “ex post facto” design. The District provided data on social and economic status, age and ethnical background to the researcher. The District also issued out the allowance to employ the data in the study. For the case of this study, a number of quantitative data sources were used.

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These include the learner’s participation logs and content-knowledge assignments. For the area of obtaining qualitative data, a variety of methods were used. Continuous tests using MANOVA were performed to test the results that suggested that the PBL learners out did the non-PBL learners on basing on the math grades. MANOVA method of comparison is applied mostly in cases where there are two or more measures that are correlated (Field, 2013). Each subject’s grade is represented by the math expression, vector. The centroid is the mean vector for each part. MANOVA applies the use of centroids so as to give the differences among groups (Stevens, 2009). The overall information collected form the participants are categorized into four main stages. Stage 1: Issuing out questionnaires to the teachers. Stage 2: Issuing out student-based questionnaires. Stage 3: Conducting teacher-based interviews.

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Stage 4: Conducting student-based interviews. Teacher-based questionnaires were designed to carry out surveys. The questionnaires were designed in a way that all the teacher participants would understand the aim of the questions and give appropriate answers. The questions were structured in a manner that they would motivate the teachers to give unbiased information and also answer them freely. The questionnaire consisted of both open-ended questions and questions with multiple choice answers. Design of the teacher-based questionnaire. Questions to be answered by the 6th grade students were designed for all the student participants who agreed to participate in the research. The questions were constructed in English so as to enable the participants to comprehend the questions and give answers that were most suitable. The questions were formatted in such a way that it would be easy for the learners to give data that was unbiased concerning the use of PBL in solving problems.

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The questionnaire was composed of both open-ended and questions with multiple choice answers. They were designed to seek out what experiences the students acquired from using PBL. Stage 3: Conducting teacher-based interviews. I sought out to inquire from the teacher what time each of them would be available so as to enable me conduct my interviews. The interviews that were conducted face-face lasted for 25 minutes each. A recorder was also used to record our conversations. As stated by Yin (2003), the recorder secures the validity of the transcribed work and also ensures that it is accurate. On the last sections of the interview, the questions were made up in a manner likely to inquire about how the teachers found the PBL approach effective. They were to give their opinion on the use of PBL and compare it to the traditional teaching methods.

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Stage 4: Conducting student-based interviews. I personally got into contact with the students who had agreed to participate in the interviews to discuss on the time that we would meet. I had chosen 12 students from the PBL-based classroom and 12 students from the non-PBL based classroom. The interview also investigated on the pros and cons of using PBL approach among the students (question 6-10). Data Analysis. I arranged the data collected from the questionnaires issued out to the teachers and the students and also data from the interviews that were conducted between the teachers and also between the students for the purpose of analyzing them. The famous method of coding and categorizing data (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) was the method of analysis which I adopted. This theory analyses qualitative data by encoding the data itself in order to obtain samples for testing.

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I used tables to present the similar answers and the similar groups. In addition, I investigated the responses given by the teachers to note any comparisons among the teachers on the issue of PBL implementation. For the analysis of the student-based questionnaires, I categorized them into two, each category for each of the two classes. I then put the two of them into one summary of data collected. I grouped the questionnaires based on the major points that the students gave in relation to their view of using PBL as a teaching method. This chapter presents and analyses the data collected from the study. It focuses on the view of the teachers and students on the implementation of PBL and its impact on their learning process. The teacher’s point of view on PBL as an alternative learning method will be focused upon then it will be followed by the perception of the students.

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The teacher’s opinion on PBL and its implementations. The aim of administering questionnaires to the teachers was to enhance the comprehension of the effects of PBL. T2 had the lowest level of experience in teaching as the teacher was still new to the school. T1 had taught for less than three years which was not sufficient to qualify the teacher as one with experience. T3 had an experience in teaching for over four years while T4 had an experience of over five years. Teachers view on the implementation of PBL approach. The teachers had varying opinions on the use of PBL in the classroom on the subject of use of PBL as an alternative in parts of teaching or its usage for the whole teaching curriculum. PBL’s main agenda is to equip the learner with collaboration skills.

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Students should be ready to work with whoever they are put together with. This will prepare them to work with any group even in their future work places. The set-up of the group of students. The data collected on the size of the student group varied across all the participants. A summary of the feedback from students concerning the experiences they got from the implementation of the PBL approach is given in this part. The results used were based from the student-based questionnaires that were returned for analysis. I summarized and analyzed the questionnaires according to the research questions that were used. The outcomes are grouped in the following categories: Student participants, students’ view on the use of PBL in their studies, the experience students got by using PBL approach in their classes, students’ opinion on the similarities and differences of the PBL approach to other learning techniques and students’ attitude towards acquiring knowledge and skills when using PBL for their preparation for future working places.

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Student participants. The students were randomly assigned to their groups. Students were advised to form groups by themselves 15 From the results, it was evident that most of the teachers preferred mixing the students according to their performance so that they would be able to gain from one another. Seventeen students noted that their teachers randomly allocated them to groups. One key issue we noted was that the teachers themselves did not record on their criteria of allocating groups relying on student abilities. Organization of tasks in the group. They were also asked on the skills they obtained during their PBL classes if there were any. Table 7. Perception of students on PBL before the unit. A large number of students noted that they had foreseen a better comprehension and mastery of the unit when taught using the PBL approach.

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Some of them were already informed of the need of understanding the unit before they attended the class. Table 10. Students’ comparison of PBL to other techniques of learning. Student feedbacks Number of feedbacks n=50 The students noted that when they used the PBL approach, they understood the course better, they worked with their colleagues, the unit became interesting, they got the chance to speak up and defend their ideas and they gained many skills. On the contrary, they noted that other learning techniques did not have vast chances as PBL. The students were limited in discussing their views with others. Summary. On observing the students’ view on the assigning of their groups, a large number recorded that they divided roles among themselves after discussing the problem. They then acquired resources that would help them tackle their part of the problem.

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When all the group members were done, they presented their ideas to the group. These ideas were then combined to come up with the complete solution to the problem. Regarding students’ group allocation, 95% of the teachers agreed that students should be allocated into their groups by their teachers. This would eliminate biasness among the students and also enable them to work with variety of other students who had different abilities. The sizes of student groups varied across all the teachers. of the teachers had similar opinions on the number of students that would form a complete group. On the impact of PBL in the performance of the students, all the teachers agreed that PBL contributed largely to the positive results and higher grades among students. To investigate and comprehend the effect of using PBL in Malaysia from the students’ point of view.

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To discover the level of expertise among the teachers who implemented use of PBL in their classes. Four teachers who had embraced the use of PBL accepted the offer to take part in the study. All of them participated in the formulated steps of the research. They all took part in the interviews that were organized. It is evident that most schools in Malaysia have not yet fully implemented PBL in learning. However, the teachers who agreed to take part in the research were okay in trying out new techniques such as PBL despite the challenges they faced in the long run. The teachers embraced teaching using PBL because they wanted to change the perception of mathematics in the students. The teachers had a strong perception that PBL would change the way of thinking and problem solution among the students.

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On the feedbacks of the features of PBL, one of the teachers did not include a very important aspect; group work was an important characteristic of PBL to enhance the student with cooperation and skills of working together as a team (Allen, Duch and Groh, 1996). Through the trainings, the teachers are also able to get new ideas from their colleagues as they interact. The outcomes that I found from the study conquered with the theories in the literature review which asserted that PBL would be flexible to adapt to a variety of descriptions. Boud and Feletti (1997) asserted that PBL could be used in teaching the whole unit or it would be introduced in more complex sections of the unit. Solomon, Binkley and Stratford quoted that PBL could also be used in certain specified topics in the whole course.

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My study totally agrees that PBL could take different forms as seen by the perception of the teachers on the implementation of PBL. This however contradicts with the key goals of PBL. It encourages the students to rely on the teachers, an aspect that PBL seeks to do away with. However scarce the materials for research may be, the students should take it upon them to look for other materials which in the long run will enhance their skills of research and also critical thinking. The results from the study noted that the teachers obtained more references to a particular topic from a variety of sources. They would get resources from other alternative books, discussions with their colleagues and also from the internet. A number of students believe that it is tough when they are left to fully handle problems on their own.

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On my view, learners who have never been exposed to PBL before should be trained and taught about the PBL approach and its impacts before they actively get involved in any activities concerning its implementation. The outcomes from the research give enough proof that the teachers ensured that the students were fully aware of PBL and its use before the beginning of their classes. If the teacher new that the students were first timers in using PBL, the teacher would adequately prepare for the class. The teacher would ensure that the first lesson was meant to ensure that all the students would be able to adapt to the PBL approach. The project should be formulated so as to engage the students to research on different methods of solving it so as to do away with the perception that the one way is the right solution.

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The formulation and design of the project is noted to be the most relevant issue in the effective preparing of a PBL unit. An extract from one of the teachers: T4 “I take my time while designing the problem so as to come up with a problem that will engage the students actively in the course by motivating them towards finding its solution”. The role of the teacher is to guide and be consulted by the students (Vernon and Blake, 1993). The teachers must be keen not to provide information directly to the students but to guide them in how the information can be applied to their problem. The tutors from the Eastern traditions are perceived to be very strict and require total control of the class, they take up all the roles in the class (Khoo, 2000).

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The outcomes of the study suggest that this is not the case with the Malaysian schools. The teachers in Malaysia enhance learning through creating an environment that is friendly to the students. The teachers achieve this through involving the students to participate in class which equips them with a range of skills. From the results of the study, it can be clearly noted that the teachers did not like to teach using the traditional teaching methods. It also allows the teacher to gauge and understand the students in a better way”. Moreover, PBL gives the teacher an opportunity to discover the abilities of their students and also note their strengths and weak points. The teacher is able to distinguish the students who are fast learners from the slow learners. This will help the teacher in noting the key areas or the key groups that support should be provided.

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However how much impact on the positive side PBL had, it did not lack its shortcomings. The teachers also found it difficult to assess all the students in an un-biased manner. This is also a major disadvantage of PBL implementation. I argue that the techniques of assessing the students had not been familiarized by the teachers as they had not been using PBL approach in their previous classes. From the outcomes of the study, the teacher’s role was the major aspect of comparison between PBL approach and other teaching techniques. For one of the teachers, the main aspect of comparison between PBL and other learning techniques was the effective implementation of team/group work to enhance the students’ skills. Almost more than three quarters of the students had already been exposed to the PBL approach before they participated in the research.

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One of the students who had recently joined the school had learnt PBL in their school. An extract from the student: “I got the chance of learning through PBL in my former school where more than half of the teachers had implemented PBL in their units”. The experience that the students had concerning PBL had a great impact on the outcomes of the research. The assigning of roles enhanced the cooperation of students to come up with a variety of solutions in solving a particular problem. A large percentage of the teachers assigned students to their groups. Only one teacher was for the opinion that the students should be allowed to form their own groups. On my point of view, I would support the idea of the minority. The learners should be given the opportunity so select their own groups.

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This will be more effective as the students will work with their peers and be freer to share their own opinions. The load carried by the teacher in giving directions to the learner is reduced by a greater margin as the student owns up this duties (Bridges and Hallinger, 1991). The students attain the privilege of discovering their own potential, organizing their discussions, chair the presentations in class and assess the quality of their work through the effective implementation of PBL (Gallagher and Reynolds, 1997). An extract from a student who had been a group leader gave the following feedback: “When the teacher gives us the problem, I consult with the group on the criteria that I would use to assign each member a section of the task. After we agreed each member would put together the resources for research.

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When it came to presentations to the group we would contribute to the findings of each member”. They discovered different methods of communicating such as conducting their discussions through group chats and also via sending messages. Through PBL, the students carried out researches and hence they gained more knowledge concerning the problem. The students had to be well equipped with resources and materials in order to find different approaches towards their problem. The teachers also offered assistance as resourceful people to their students. The students made inquiries from sources such as the internet and other written materials (Nandi and Chan, 2000). As much as the teachers had implemented the PBL approach in their units, they still used traditional techniques in assessing the students. This can be noted as one of the main difficult aspects of implementing PBL as the teachers had been taught different techniques of student assessment in their trainings prior to the PBL course.

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The outcomes from the research give clear proof that the learners’ perception of the end results of PBL were very clear. In an instance, the students understood the importance of having a good knowledge-base of the unit, understanding the pros and cons of PBL before participating in a PBL class. The teacher must be able to comprehend the goals, rules and the perceived end results of PBL which is relevant to the teacher in building confidence among the students and motivate them (Dion, 1996). One of the major aspects of PBL approach is to enable the students to come up with a variety of suitable solutions rather than giving the correct answer. The final exam however, was designed for the students to find the right answers. This led to the students having a negative aspect about the implementation of PBL approach.

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From the outcomes of the research, it was evident that a majority of the students gained positively from the implementation of PBL. In addition, they also recorded that their traditional teaching methods had affected them negatively. From analyzing the responses from the students and the teachers, there is no doubt that the positive impacts of PBL outweigh the negative impacts by a very wide range. The teachers involved themselves in formulating learning problems and acting as facilitators in the PBL sessions. They also engaged in discussions with their colleagues and often shared ideas about their experiences in the PBL trainings. They also sought help from other teachers when designing projects. It was also very useful for the teachers to assess the abilities of the students during the process of PBL implementation.

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Krajcik (1998) asserts that more often, students do not prepare adequately for their PBL sessions. From the study, we note that new techniques in learning should not just aim at providing or building the knowledge base of the learner, these new approaches should also provide the learner with a wide range of skills such as the art of working effectively in groups, time management skills, skills in collaboration and also active participation in groups. It should also be able to improve and develop the self-esteem in the learner. The student is placed at a better position in their studies on knowing that their efforts are acknowledged by their teachers (Sternberg, 1998). Teaching using the traditional techniques have become a cliché in the education sector and has adversely affected the performance of the students as they are not involved directly in the learning process (Duch, Groh and Allen (2001).

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The teachers together with the students embraced the PBL approach in their classes in the Malaysian school in Kuala Kangsar District in Perak. This was very positive towards the implementation of the PBL teaching technique as the nearby schools would also be interested in using it considering its results. One key issue that enabled the teachers to implement PBL effectively in their classes was their pre-knowledge about PBL. The teachers who had experience were able to design problems that met all aspects of a well formulated problem as required by PBL. They also allowed the students to create groups on their own, gather research materials on their own, assign themselves tasks in the group and facilitate group activities on their own with very minimal or no supervision at all. Recommendations. This section of chapter five contains the possible guidelines that will enable the implementation of the PBL approach to be more successful.

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From the outcomes of the research it is clear that all the teachers and students had out their effort to ensure that the implementation process of PBL was effective. This was a major indication of their perception of PBL as having a very positive impact. It is for this reason that my findings allow me to suggest the effective implementation of PBL in more of the schools in Malaysia. Teachers who had been exposed to PBL prior to their course used methods that were more complex than the teachers who had very little or no exposure at all prior to the PBL unit. For such situations, the intervention and assistance of the administration would be very important. Support from the staff and administration is a very critical aspect in the effective process of implementing PBL (Achike, 2003).

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It is for this reasons that I recommend that the results and outcomes of my research be produced in large scale by being printed by media groups in magazines and journals. PBL enhances the level of teacher-student involvement in class as well as improves the rate at which students associate with one another. Through conducting this research, I have been able to develop my career and also learn new techniques of studying and learning. I have been able to know more about past researches that have been conducted. It is now even clearer on how PBL can be effectively implemented in many areas of my career. Education is not just a process of imparting content or knowledge into the learner but a process through which the learner is equipped with skills that enable him/her to tackle real life phenomena.

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In order for the students to be well prepared for their future careers, they have to use approaches that seek to engage them in understanding the problem rather than just getting the solutions. Jones, Rasmussen and Moffitt, 1997; Thomas Merendoller and Michaelson, 1999. Blumenfeld, Soloway, Marx, Krajcik, Guzdial and Palincsar, 1991. Psychology as the Behaviorist views it; John Watson. Barry Robichaud, December 12, 2017. www. Theories of chemistry teaching. Blumenfeld, P. Soloway, E. Marx, R. Krajcik, J. Y. Bian, Z. Tai, B. Wu, Q. Exploratory thoughts concerning education reform with problem-based learning in China. de Varies M. Comparing problem-based with conventional education: A review of the University of Limburg medical education experiment. Annals of Community-Oriented Education. Nguyen, V. C. Meier, R. Problem solving: Teachers’ perceptions, content area models, and interdisciplinary connections. School Science and Mathematics. Duch, B.

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Problems: A key factor in PBL.

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