Using Problem-based Learning to Teach Research Methods at the ...

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  • Title: Using Problem-based Learning to Teach Research Methods at the Undergraduate Level
  • Author(s): Eduardo Peñalosa-Castro, Josefina C Santana
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education
  • Keywords: Collaborative Learning, Critical Thinking, Problem-based Learning, Problem-solving Skills
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7955 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8749 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7955/CGP/v26i01/1-10
  • Citation: Peñalosa-Castro, Eduardo , and Josefina C Santana. 2018. "Using Problem-based Learning to Teach Research Methods at the Undergraduate Level." The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education 26 (1): 1-10. doi:10.18848/2327-7955/CGP/v26i01/1-10.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

Problem-based learning (PBL) has been used to teach university courses in a variety of fields. This article reports on its use to teach basic research skills to undergraduate students in two different fields of study (Accounting and Communication) at a Mexican university. Because PBL works with ill-structured problems and fosters critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and because it leads to long-term retention, it is suitable as a learning approach at a basic research methods course, where it appears to be underused. Participants (N = 102) were asked to work in teams to carry out a research project and prepare an abstract which they sent to an international conference. Teams were video and audio recorded as they worked on their project, and the data were analyzed following the precepts of interaction analysis. Other data sources were participant interviews, student-created documents, and student evaluations of the course. Participants show evidence of co-construction of knowledge and of increased critical thinking.