PBL Teacher Preparation Courses

During NEBHE’s STEM PBL project, Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PI’s) at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) adapted pre- and in-service technology and engineering education courses to include pedagogical lessons in PBL.

Students enrolled in the Teaching Technology and Engineering Education (TE-399) pre-service undergraduate course and the STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers (TE-506) in-service graduate course experience PBL as a student in a STEM classroom. Pre- and in-service instructors are formed into teams to solve selected STEM PBL and PHOTON PBL Challenges (multimedia case studies) are offered at varying levels of instruction in order to receive a hands-on education in how to implement PBL into their own classrooms: structured (entirely instructor-led, least student autonomy), guided (instructor guided, increased student autonomy) and open-ended (instructor as facilitator, most student autonomy).

Through participation in the CSSU courses, pre- and in-service technology and engineering education instructors:

  • Learn how to incorporate problem based learning in the classroom by using NEBHE’s field-tested web-based PBL Challenges developed by the STEM PBL and PHOTON PBL projects.
  • Experience PBL as students tasked with solving a PBL Challenge would.
  • Receive a comprehensive overview of student and teachers’ resources developed by the project.
  • Learn field-tested assessment and implementation strategies for problem based learning.
  • Receive access to the PHOTON PBL and STEM PBL instructional materials.
  • Gain access to a PBL listserv for continued networking with the PBL project team and PBL practitioners.

For more information on the CCSU PBL pedagogy courses, please contact James DeLaura, chair, Technology and Engineering Education Department, CCSU.

 

Course Adaptations for the Advanced Manufacturing PBL Project

The Advanced Manufacturing PBL project team will enhance and implement the replicable Teaching Technology and Engineering Education (TE-399) course developed during the STEM PBL project to include the newly developed Advanced Manufacturing PBL Challenges.

Additionally, the new Advanced Manufacturing PBL Challenges will be integrated into the graduate level course for in-service STEM teachers, STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers. As a capstone project for the course, students will use the pedagogical strategies and technical skills they acquire throughout the semester to develop original multimedia PBL Challenges related to advanced manufacturing topics of their choosing. The capstone projects will help to build and sustain an online library of PBL instructional resources designed by in-service STEM educators.

Additionally, STEM teacher education faculty participating in the AM PBL Institute will learn how to:

  • Introduce the Teaching Technology and Engineering Education pre-service undergraduate PBL course in place at Central Connecticut State University into their own institution’s teacher education programs.
  • Implement the STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers graduate course in place at Central Connecticut State University into their own institution’s teacher education programs.

 

What Are Pre- and In-service Educators Saying About the CCSU Courses?

“PBL forces us to slow down our lesson and get a lot more quality into our lesson, to dig deeper into the materials rather than get this thing done and move on to the next.”

– Graduate Student, STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers

“PBL gives students a lot more responsibility for themselves, not relying on the teacher to give them responsibility, and it gives them an opportunity to learn from each other.”

– Undergraduate Student, Teaching Technology and Engineering Education

“It makes the students think a little more critically about certain events or certain problems. They’re taking concepts they learned in other classes and bringing them all into one area.”

– Undergraduate Student, Teaching Technology and Engineering Education

“I can see how the problems are made where as a teacher you would be able to walk around the room and see the kids start to get it, and then walk over and say ‘oh, that’s good now that you’re doing that. Why don’t you keep working on that, and are there any other experiments you think you can do?’ and kind of push them to bring it to the next level. There’s almost no limit to what you could do. Given more resources, you could have the kids do more hands on types of activities, building projects, make computer animated designs, whatever you had the resources for. I think the Challenges are pretty versatile in that sense.”

– Graduate Student, STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers

“It’s nice that there are assessments other than how students did on the PowerPoint or the concept as a group. The final technical report is something you can assess them on individually.”

– Graduate Student, STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers

 

CCSU undergrads at HI-TEC

CCSU undergraduate students were selected to present their capstone project for the Teaching Technology and Engineering Education course at the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference in Denver, CO, July 2012. The students worked with graduate students in the STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers course to develop a PBL Challenge focused on revitalizing a major highway in Connecticut.

CCSU grad students engaged in PBL

In-service educators working on a PBL Challenge as part of the PBL pedagogical training in the STEM PBL Applications for Science and Technology Teachers course.

 

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