A Blended Learning Experience Applying Pbl In An Interdisciplinary Classroom
In this paper we present a successful experience of a blended learning course applying the active methodology Project-based Learning (PBL) in an interdisciplinary classroom at Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Paraiba (IFPB), Brazil. This course was supported by e-tools to foster social interactions among students, teachers and coaches, as well as, by innovative pedagogical techniques in order to help students on developing 21st Century Skills and Collaborative Project Skills. The course was organized in 10 weeks, totaling 60 hours and focused on training students from different areas about how to work collaboratively in projects, merging knowledge about agile project management, teamwork and collaborative tools. The course audience was 71 Business, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering and GIS undergraduate students (N=71). In order to foster critical self-reflection and increase the feedback among teachers, coaches and students, it was asked to all students the creation of an Individual Board Diary, where they should share the evolution of the project, learning and collaboration challenges, achievements and everything they had considered important. Teachers and coaches were able to guide students and adjust the path of the course based on Board Diaries, giving them suitable feedback as it advocates the premises of formative evaluation. It was investigated the relationship between the active learning methodologies, such as Project-based Learning and blended learning, and students’ motivation and engagement. According to the research objectives, it was performed a qualitative analysis of the students' diary boards. The data was encoded considering two nodes: (i) blended learning challenges and achievements and (ii) students motivation during the project development. Students written about some challenges related to teamwork and project development process, discussing about how motivated they were by different aspects: collaborative work, impressive achievements and freedom to learn regarding time and place and learning by doing. Some students reported that blended learning provided them responsibility and they realized that collaborative tools were able to support coaching sessions, discussions and feedback. Regarding students motivation in a Project-based learning experience, they realized could drive their own learning through inquiry, as well as, work collaboratively to research and create projects that reflect their knowledge. Even though interdisciplinary students formed the most part of teams, it’s written they were able to join the strength of each one and to develop challenging projects. An immediate benefit of this course is related with the change of the teacher´s and student’s mindset from teacher centered learning to a student centered learning. After all, these are the benefits of an approach that brings real problems to the student’s lives.
Index Terms- Project-based learning; blended learning; Interdisciplinary classroom