Indicators of Aptitude in the Learning of Science within the One-Day-One-Problem Problem based Learning Pedagogy

A. Chua, T.L. Pheng, and T. Chong (Singapore)

Keywords

Problem based learning, Correlation, GCE ‘O’ Level, Science

Abstract

Republic Polytechnic (RP) is a recently established tertiary institution in Singapore, and its first intake of students was in July 2003. A unique One-Day-One Problem PBL scheme, which is practiced on a purpose built sophisticated campus-wide information technology platform, is adopted throughout RP. Addressed in this paper is the performance of two cohorts of students admitted to RP on the basis of their performance at GCE ‘O’ level examination conducted at national level in Singapore. This study is limited to the students admitted to the Biomedical Sciences diploma program, which is one of ten programs offered at RP at present. Preliminary studies of student performance after the first semester of study in RP’s PBL environment indicates some correlation with the GCE ‘O’ level examination performance1,2 , which formed the criteria for enrolment. The study conducted in this paper includes data from RP’s second cohort of students. A comparison of student performance show that while there is a weak correlation between student entry aggregate scores and GPA values, cognitive abilities of students as measured within the first year of study in RP correlates better to overall academic performance.

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