Generic Skills Development through the Problem-based Learning and Information Technology

W. Yip (PRC)


Web-based Support system, Problem based Learning.


The main purpose of this paper is to present an approach to develop the generic skills of computing students through a problem-based learning (PBL) approach supported by information technology (IT). This involves the teaching of four subjects within two years in the Higher Diploma in Information Systems programme. These subjects include Commercial programming, Information systems analysis, Information systems design and Implementation, and Commercial programming project. This paper discusses how the generic skills of students are to be developed and how the various Web based support tools are applied to support such developments. The author has undertaken a learning and teaching project in an attempt to teach information system development with PBL and IT. Problem-based learning promotes student-centered learning and collaborative learning. There are a number of tasks in the PBL processes, which can be supported by technological advances. Web-based support tools have been developed to foster learning and teaching. These include posting teaching materials on the Web to support on-line information retrieval, a private discussion area for problem analysis and brainstorming, a facility for project planning and monitoring, a private group area for the purposes of discussion, a facility for the submission of development work and learning resources, and a posting area to display good work to motivate students. The progress of the students can be monitored and feedback can be given to them via the system. Students are able to receive their individual grades via the Web. This paper describes those tools that have been used and identify those Web-based tools that students prefer.

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