Problem-centric Process for Research-based Learning

Khaled Shaban, Mahmoud Abdulwahed, Abdunnaser Younes

Abstract


Research-based Learning (RbL) extends Inquiry and Project-based Learning by facilitating an early stage exposure and training for future scientists through authentic research activities. In this paper, an iterative problem-centric RbL process is introduced, and its activities and management aspects are described. The process helps implement course-integrated research systematically and practically. Furthermore, the novel process follows constructivist methods in incorporating inquiry, scaffolding, open-ended projects, as well as a goal oriented learning approach. The RbL process is adopted in two advanced computing courses, at two different universities: a leading comprehensive Western university and a new university in a developing country. The paper summarizes new lessons learned in these rewarding experiences. In particular, the instructor should help students start their projects, by providing them with previous work or data and pre-approving the papers to review by students. He should also maintain a continuous feedback to and from students to keep the students motivated and help the instructor refine and adapt the RBL process. We note that research collaborators can help students in identifying the research topics early. The paper also shows how to alleviate difficulties that may be encountered by students who find the novel approach demanding, and consequently it also helps the instructors better manage the course contents.

Keywords


Constructivist pedagogy; Inquiry-based Learning; Project/Problem-based Learning; Research-based Learning.

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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