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A Critical Analysis of Problem-Based Learning and its Application to the Senior

Cycle Construction Studies Programme in Second Level Education


Student: Shane Dalton BSc. In Education (Design Graphics & Construction) Supervisor: Dr. Pauline Logue Collins

Introduction Research Findings Recommendations


Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a group based Students demonstrate good problem-solving Implementing a PBL activity to CS using
teaching approach to which the students ability during ‘practical’ course work, but failed Homestyler.com focusing on the topic of
formulate their own knowledge from an open- to reach the same standard during ‘theory’. As a Accessibility.
ended problem. subject CS is naturally inquisitive and
accommodates PBL approaches. The students:
 Are given a design brief.
Aims & Objectives  Convert a small office space into a downstairs,
PBL contains the following key principles:
To investigate PBL strategies and its application wheelchair accessible bathroom.
to the senior cycle Construction Studies (CS)  Problem Design  The problem is given prior  Must include all design detailing and key
program in secondary school education. subject knowledge and takes the form of a dimensional requirements of an accessible
scenario, a case, a challenge, a visual prompt, bathroom.
Objectives a dilemma, a design brief or a trigger to  Work in pairs.
1. To gain an understanding of how students’ provoke the thought process.  Must develop a 3D model of a wheelchair
problem solving skills influence their  Tutorial groups  Students collaborate to accessible bathroom using Homestyler.com.
performance in CS and to analyse the develop knowledge using past experiences to  Must develop an A3 client presentation &
strategies teachers use to teach CS. solve a given problem. present their designs to the class.
2. Critically examine various PBL models, by PBL  Assessment  The assessment should relate
experts, with a view to the application of CS. back to the learning objectives set out at the
3. Develop a PBL model that can effectively be beginning of the activity and reflect on the
applied the CS syllabus. student progression from beginning to end.
 Curriculum development  Considerations
Methodology must be made for the application of PBL in
the curriculum, a total PBL approach or
The research methodology employed is adapting PBL strategies to aspects of teaching
secondary literature analysis research. & learning in the classroom.
 Developing knowledge & capabilities.  PBL
approaches in the classroom are designed to
Acknowledgments develop students as life long learners,
Dr. Pauline Logue Collins (Supervisor) independent thinkers & active problem-
Dr. Susan Rogers (Module Leader) solvers.
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