A Study of Educator Workload in Problem-based Learning

A. Chiang, P.-H. Wu (Taiwan), and M.S. Baba (Malaysia)


Problem-based Learning


Problem-based Learning (PBL) has been widely used in various professional educations. But, why the movement of PBL advances to IT education still far behinds? The reason is very simple – firstly, educators under PBL pedagogy have much more workload and duties than under the traditional IT teaching methods, such as, PBL activities design, students discussion guidance, formative assessments and etc. Secondly, the large student numbers and limited staff in most of the IT undergraduate classrooms hinder interested IT educators to accept PBL. Contrary, to face the new challenges of the e-Learning generation, IT education ought to combine their original teaching method with PBL pedagogy as a result to form an improved bi-directional pedagogy - when technologies are ready to support more problem/solution discussions online. This paper promotes PBL for IT education. The study positions educators at the center role to inspect PBL discipline from four perspectives: (1) problems (2) students (3) tutors and (4) assessments; consequently, suggesting the bottleneck of PBL workload for the interested IT educators. In this paper, to release the IT staff shortage for implementing PBL pedagogy, the conclusion has advised IT developing “computer tutors” from four perspectives, as the paper suggested, to save the workload for educators.

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