Project

A Framework for applying PBL to Computing Education

Goal: The PBL Framework is composed of three main pillars: 1) Process-based methodology (Rigor); 2) Information Technology to support this methodology (Efficiency); 3) PBL dissemination (Culture), which involves PBL practices and teacher training courses. Currently, this project involves four doctoral works, one master's work and one institutional work. The first work concerns the structuring of the framework in the format of the website; The second refers to a Canvas Toolkit for PBL planning; The third is an LMS system to manage PBL during the execution of a course; The fourth is a collaborative environment based on PBL, virtualizing the classroom; And the last one is the definition of a good practice guide for PBL. All of these works have been applied in undergraduate and graduate courses, including other PBL products developed by NEXT Research Group, such as the xPBL Methodology, the PBL-Test and the PBL-SEE (assessment model). The institutional project refers to the unification of the first year of three undergraduate courses in Computing (Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Systems) scheduled to start in 2017.

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S.C. dos Santos
added a research item
This Research Full Paper presents an overview of student assessment proposals for Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in Computing Education. Computing teaching has many challenges, as it requires different skills from students, often subjective and difficult to assess. In fact, technical knowledge alone is not enough to fully understand what is being taught, but the interpretive and logical skills to deal with practical problems and non-technical skills such as group work, creativity, critical vision, ability to cooperate and communicate. Active learning methodologies as Problem-Based Learning (PBL) have been used to dealing with such challenges, broadly developing technical and non-techniques skills in students. However, despite the benefits of PBL, the student assessment process is one of the points that present its own adversities and, therefore, an aspect that deserves greater attention. To better understand the nuances of this process and how it can contribute to the teaching and learning process based on PBL, this study aimed to investigate primary studies in the last two decades, seeking answers to the following research questions: RQ1) What assessment models are being used?; RQ2) Which aspects are evaluated?; RQ3) What criteria and media have been defined?; RQ4) Who gets involved in the assessment process?; RQ5) What is the ideal frequency to conduct the evaluations?; RQ6) What can these models reveal? As a research method, this study used the Systematic Literature Review method proposed by Kitchenham. As main conclusions, it was possible to identify that: generally, computing education based on PBL occurs at the undergraduate level, having as main educational objective the teaching of technical content; in practice, the need for a diverse teaching team is not reflected, the traditional student-teacher remains; to evaluate students, it is necessary to consider several aspects, technical and non-technical, defining specific criteria for each one of them; the main benefits for students are related to changes in behavior, development of soft skills and better absorption of technical knowledge; as main challenges for students, the difficulty to understand the nuances of the proposed problem and to be the main responsible for devising a solution for it without the figure of a teacher to give a clear definition of how to do it stands out.
S.C. dos Santos
added a research item
In Computing Higher Education (CHE), the desired transformation of traditional teaching and learning methods, almost always based on the transmission of information and content-based curricula, has been the objective of several educational institutions that wish to combat students' demotivation and dropout. Among successful approaches, Problem-Based Learning stands out as one of the most effective and radical methods regarding pedagogical innovations. While the implementation of the PBL means a great opportunity to achieve better educational performance, it also represents many challenges that can only be managed if they are first known and understood. In this context, the motivation for this study comes from the following research question: "How to know if an institution at CHE is ready to implement the PBL?". As a response, an institutional diagnostic model regarding the adoption of PBL is proposed. From an opinion survey with 38 technical educational institutions in computing, involving 302 participants, the results showed that the model reached its objective, allowing the identification of favorable, warning, and critical points regarding the adoption of PBL in these institutions.
S.C. dos Santos
added 3 research items
This article reports the experience of a Software Residency Program developed by Alcatel-Lucent and C.E.S.A.R with the goal of forming software development practitioners with specific skills and competences in Care Centers for the Telecom field. Positive results were reached with the use of PBL and the agile approach Kanban. Resumo. Este artigo relata a experiência de um Programa de Residência de Software desenvolvido pela Alcatel-Lucent e C.E.S.A.R, visando a formação de profissionais de software com habilidades e competências específicas em Centrais de Atendimento para o setor de Telecom. Com o uso de PBL e a abordagem ágil Kanban, resultados positivos foram alcançados.
The activity of software testing is an area of IT that has grown over the years and that is directly related to the need to produce quality products that meet increasing demands. By focusing on the professionals responsible for quality assurance, as the Engineer of Tests, skills and competence of these need to be developed based on a very critical and detailed view of the problem. In this context, this paper proposes the adoption of PBL (problem-based learning) as a teaching methodology for the professionals training in software testing. To prove the applicability of this proposal, an empirical study was developed with positive results in teaching the discipline of testing. Index Terms  Problem-Based Learning, Software Testing, Training. INTRODUÇÃO A indústria de software atual tem apresentado uma demanda cada vez maior por profissionais capacitados em testes de software, devido à preocupação das empresas em entregar produtos de qualidade para os seus clientes. Neste cenário, as habilidades e competências dos Engenheiros de Testes precisam ser desenvolvidas com base numa visão crítica e detalhada do problema, dentro de um contexto real de mercado. Do ponto de vista acadêmico, geralmente, a formação destes profissionais é baseada na aprendizagem de conceitos e fundamentos, com pouca ênfase no desenvolvimento de habilidades voltadas para a aplicação prática de conceitos e resolução de problemas reais [1]. Neste sentido, a aprendizagem baseada em problemas (PBL) surge como uma possível solução para este desafio, e tem sido aplicada em diferentes áreas de mercado. De acordo com [2], métodos que criam espaços para aprender fazendo, aprender a aprender, trabalhar em equipes autênticas e refletir sobre o aprendizado através de comunicação oral e escrita são especialmente desejados. Em [3], os autores relatam que este método vem se firmando, nas últimas décadas, como uma das mais importantes inovações da educação, tornando-se, em diversos países, um poderoso instrumento para a reflexão e questionamento a cerca da razão de ser, das finalidades da formação profissional e das mudanças que devem ser implementadas. Diante deste contexto, a principal contribuição deste artigo é relatar a experiência da aplicação do método de aprendizagem baseado em problemas em um Programa de Capacitação em Testes de Software (PCTS), direcionado a alunos de graduação (futuros profissionais de testes de software), no qual o aprendizado é motivado por meio de um projeto real. O PCTS foi implementado pelo A aprendizagem baseada em problemas (PBL) é um método de ensino que tem como característica principal um processo que utiliza problemas para iniciar e motivar a aprendizagem de conceitos e promover habilidades e atitudes necessárias a sua solução, diferentemente dos métodos convencionais que colocam um problema de aplicação ao final da apresentação de um conteúdo [4]. Neste modelo, os papéis do aluno e do professor/tutor são diferentes da abordagem tradicional. De acordo com [5], os professores/tutores atuam como direcionadores (técnicos) ajudando os alunos a identificarem um caminho para alcançar o aprendizado necessário para solucionar um problema. Assim, o estudante muda de papel no processo de aprendizagem, passando de receptor passivo para ativo, responsável pelo seu aprendizado. O PBL não almeja apenas a solução de um problema. O objetivo deste método é também incluir a aquisição de uma base de conhecimentos integrada e estruturada em torno de problemas da vida real, bem como a promoção de habilidades de trabalho em grupo, aprendizagem autônoma e
The ICT industry is emerging as an exciting and challenging environment-flexible and dynamic, and therefore, It demands for ICT professionals who should not only understand the technology, but also a wide vision of the problems, business understanding, entrepreneurship background and interpersonal skills, which are related to the practical experience of software engineering [1]. Taking the Problem Based Learning [2] as a reference to implement practical and real problems, a Program for teaching Software Engineering for Mobile Devices inspired in Medical Residency [3] was established, called Mobile Software Residency, in which students learn by doing in a real working environment. To validate the effectiveness of this approach with respect to the objectives of the program, a method of authentic assessment was defined and applied, showing that this approach brings relevant results towards the effectiveness of the learning. Index Terms  Authentic Assessment, Mobile Software, Problem-based Learning, Software Residency. INTRODUÇÃO A crescente e contínua presença do software em produtos e serviços consumidos diariamente pela sociedade vem ganhando força com a popularização e desenvolvimento do mercado de dispositivos móveis conectados em redes sem fio. Neste cenário, a indústria de software vem demandando profissionais capacitados em tecnologias específicas para plataformas móveis, tal como a Google Android [4] e Samsung BADA [5], além do desenvolvimento de competências como visão de negócio, habilidades gerenciais e de planejamento, e características interpessoais essenciais ao desenvolvimento de soluções que satisfaçam um mercado consumidor cada vez mais exigente. Para capacitar estes profissionais, se faz necessário um modelo de educação eficaz, que proporcione o desenvolvimento de habilidades e competências técnicas e não técnicas, centradas em práticas de projetos reais com complexidades similares às encontradas no mercado de trabalho. Como uma alternativa de educação baseada em práticas reais de soluções de problemas, o método de ensino Problem-Based Learning [2] tem sido aplicado em diferentes áreas de mercado, desde a área médica, ligada a sua origem, às áreas de engenharia e tecnologia. O autor Tynälä [6] define a aprendizagem baseada em problemas (PBL) como uma estratégia onde os estudantes, imersos em práticas de projetos reais, trabalham em times com o objetivo de solucionar problemas e também encorajar o desenvolvimento de habilidades e atitudes, incluindo o trabalho em grupo, a auto-iniciativa e a cooperação, sendo co-responsável pelo seu aprendizado Apesar dos benefícios evidentes do PBL, é importante ressaltar que a adoção desta metodologia é muitas vezes confundida com experimentos práticos nos quais os estudantes são deixados à própria sorte, com pouca interação com os professores/tutores e baixo apoio de conteúdo proveniente de disciplinas. No entanto, uma metodologia PBL efetiva é fortemente orientada a processos, uma vez que a abordagem precisa ser planejada para garantir que teoria e prática andarão juntas e alinhadas. Portanto, o aprendizado precisa ser acompanhado por meio de instrumentos que possam avaliar sua efetividade [7]. Neste contexto, a estratégia de avaliação autêntica definida por Herington & Herington se mostra adequada, face aos métodos de avaliação tradicionais baseados em testes padronizados com foco em conhecimento de conteúdo factual [8]. Na avaliação autêntica, os estudantes são envolvidos em ambientes de aprendizagem com atividades voltadas para aplicação de seus conhecimentos, estimulando seu pensamento e visão crítica para a solução de problemas reais e exercitando diferentes maneiras de resolvê-los. Em [9], o autor destaca sete elementos essenciais em uma avaliação autêntica:  O contexto precisa ser real, refletindo as condições para a avaliação do desempenho dos estudantes dentro deste contexto;  Os estudantes precisam participar efetivamente da solução dos problemas, como realizadores, a partir de conhecimento adquirido na formação;
S.C. dos Santos
added a research item
The PBL (Problem-Based Learning) methodology provides many benefits to those who use it in teaching. In this light, it is important to plan well when using this methodology, efficient to the purposes established by an educator, in a way to avoid those vital aspects to educational planning in the PBL approach that are neglected or forgotten. However, there is a lack of specific tools to help educators in the task of planning their teaching, specifically geared to the PBL approach. As an alternative to this problem, this paper proposes a tool consisting of a Canvas PBL and a set of cards intended to guide the planning of teaching in the PBL approach.
S.C. dos Santos
added a research item
The area of Computer Networks requires an educational model based on real market practices that can provide students with consistent technological training. However, it should be noted that a Network Project is subject to a wide range of restrictions (such as time constraints, budgeting, and the use of other necessary resources) which means there is a need to work with real cases and in the presence of a client. The purpose of this paper is to describe the effects of the application of PBL‐Maestro in the area of Network Design. PBL‐Maestro consists of a LMS (Learning Management System) that has been designed to underpin a methodological workflow for implementing PBL (Problem‐Based Learning) in the teaching of Computing, called xPBL, which provides support for Authentic Assessment. By taking xPBL as a benchmark, the course management can be carried out by following the dynamics of the cycle and stages. The topics was taught in an entirely ̈hands‐on̈ format with the use of real equipment installed inside the classroom, and it included situations and problems arising from real circumstances. Clients took part in the whole process and took on the responsibility of making requests, monitoring, guiding, and evaluating the development of the problem solution, together with the teacher. In addition, the fact that they were immersed in a practical environment and could make use of the devices employed in companies enabled them to solve problems when requested, with more facility and assertiveness. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with the users who used the LMS.
S.C. dos Santos
added 4 research items
Problem‐Based Learning (PBL) has gained widespread approval as a constructive, student‐centered approach to teaching, and learning. Advocating the use of real‐life problems to initiate and motivate the learning process, PBL is an inductive strategy promoting the understanding of new concepts as well as the development of professional skills, abilities, and attitudes. Thus, it is paramount that teachers and students implement PBL in conformity to its core principles. However, such implementation becomes a challenge, considering that PBL is fundamentally different from traditional instruction methods. Without the appropriate pedagogical and technological support, PBL's quality, effectiveness, and authenticity are at risk. In an attempt to overcome these challenges, this paper presents the PBL‐Coach Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), built upon PBL learning theories. This paper describes in detail a scientific investigation on a practical PBL implementation, driven by the quest to achieve the following goals: (i) Scaffold teachers and students in implementing the PBL method; (ii) Investigate useful and usable technological resources in the PBL process; (iii) Maintain PBL core principles for an authentic and effective learning process. As a result, three case studies are described and one is detailed to validate our investigation, consisting of a real‐world setting with clients, teachers, tutors, and students. Each case study provided a good level of evidence that PBL‐Coach, used in a real‐world, authentic setting, can promote an effective learning process through a number of carefully designed technological resources. Encouraging results motivated to evolve PBL‐Coach through Augmented and Virtual Reality components as future works.
This a Research Full Paper. The requirements of Software Engineering need a learning environment that is not only practical but true to the reality of the market. As a student-centered approach, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) enables students to be collaborative and attitude-oriented during problem-solving. Despite this, PBL has its cultural challenges. Thus, this work intends to better understand how the students learn and behave through student meaningful learning profiles and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Based on the principle that these students participate or participated in a discipline that used the PBL method and are students of a course in the Computer Science area. In this context, this article proposes a descriptive study to make initial analyses and kick start the research. Based on this study and its early results, we can conclude that learning dimensions require greater stimulation and it was identified an initial relationship between personality profiles and meaningful learning profiles.
Gustavo Alexandre
added 2 research items
The continuous advancement of Information Technology and the range of industries and services dependent on technology have required profound changes in the education of software professionals. In fact, the education of these professionals must include diverse skills (technical and non-technical), in order to enable them to solve real problems that impact the lives of companies and people. In this scenario, active learning approaches can make a lot of difference, when applied effectively, with well-defined educational goals and continuous follow-up and feedbacks. One of these approaches that are working well in Computer Education is the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach. PBL uses real problems as an instrument to develop skills such as holistic knowledge, business understanding, task management and group work, essential in the software professional. In this context, this paper describes a case of an undergraduate course in Information Systems, conducted in the PBL approach. In order to guarantee the application of PBL in an effective way, a Framework for PBL application in the teaching of Computing, described by Santos and Rodrigues (2016) was used. This framework systematizes the application of PBL in the four stages Plan, Do, Check and Act (based on the management cycle of Deming), which are repeated in learning cycles aligned to educational objectives. As the main results of this experience, the following stand out: a proposal for applying PBL in a managed way, based on a Framework for Computer Education; benefits of using the Framework; possibilities for improvements in this approach.
The dynamism of the global economy and its growing dependence on Information Technology, more complex and integrated, has required a transformation in the education of software professionals with the focus on the development of skills such as teamwork, real practice of problem-solving, managerial profile and analysis of solutions. In this context, the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach falls as a glove for the training of professionals in these competencies. From this motivation, this paper describes the application of the PBL approach in an Information Systems course. Aiming the effectiveness of this approach, the Framework described in (Santos and Rodrigues, 2016) was applied, which proposes tools for the planning, execution, monitoring, and improvements of PBL. The results showed the suitability of the Framework for this purpose, describing how it was applied and how the PBL can be managed, besides emphasizing main benefits and improvement points from this application.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
Tutorial Education Program (TEP) is an initiative from Brazilian government to develop education quality in different areas of knowledge, as its main aim to decrease students’ evasion and promotion of academic success. PET-Informática group from Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) has invested in these activities, in particular, to teach programming, one of the disciplines in which students have lower grades in technology courses. In this context, this paper describes an experience of an extension course in Python, using the active learning approach Problem-Based Learning (PBL). This course, ministered in two weeks, made possible the construction of a PBL model to teach Python, based in the xPBL methodology described by Santos & Rodrigues (2016) and the lessons learned with this practical experiment. As the main contribution, this experience stands out the possibility to apply this course to different audiences with different levels of education, and also the dissemination of PBL approach in teaching programming.
S.C. dos Santos
added a research item
The PBL (Problem-Based Learning) methodology provides many advantages to those adopting it in the teaching-learning process. To this end, a good planning that guides the usage of the methodology towards the goals established by the teacher is of fundamental importance, in order to prevent fundamental aspects to be neglected or forgotten. However, there is a lack of specific solutions to help teachers plan their teaching. This is even more pronounced in the specific case of PBL. As a solution to this problem, this paper proposes a tool composed of a PBL Canvas and a set of cards, used to guide the teaching planning in the PBL approach, called PBL Planner Toolkit. The initial results indicate a good acceptance of the tool as well as evidences of its effectiveness in the planning of the adoption of the PBL, elicited through the realization of real plans of 4 courses using the PBL Planner Toolkit. The data collection was done by means of the evaluation of the course plans and by observations recorded in the logbook made during the realization of the plans.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
Ensuring satisfactory results by using problem-based learning in education in the Computing area is challenging. Faithfully maintaining the philosophy of PBL requires not only full compliance with its principles but also that its processes are managed efficiently. To facilitate the adoption of PBL, especially as to managing its processes, this article puts forward a framework based on Demig's PDCA cycle. The framework highlights its ability to re-use artifacts and recommends models for the stages of planning, implementation, monitoring and corrective actions. Special attention is paid to the components that are essential to the framework: xPBL methodology, maturity models, such as PBL-Test and valuation models, and authentic assessment. Results on the applicability of the framework during an under-graduate modular Computing course are also presented.
The Problem-Based Learning method has become an alternative to develop problem solving skills and abilities strongly required by the current labor market. However, studies indicate that due to the subjectivity of PBL concepts and the lack effective instruments for its implementation, the PBL teaching planning is compromised and strongly dependent on the teacher's ability. In addition, related studies indicate the existence of guidelines to support high level planning for the courses and disciplines in PBL such as infrastructure. Given that context, this paper proposes a tool for supporting PBL planning in Computing Education based on Backward Design Model that will lead teachers to structure their planning in order to comply with PBL processes and principles, maximizing the adherence of proposed activities to the PBL culture considering usability principles. The validation comprised the usability and acceptance evaluation of the tool proposed as well as its structure for conducting teachers planning their learning activities as much adherent as possible to PBL process and principles. The results analyzed indicate good usability scores and acceptance of the tool proposed through usability questionnaires as well as indicated the approach would assist in PBL educational planning process, supporting to maximize maturity in PBL.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
Ensuring satisfactory results by using problembased learning in education in the Computing area is challenging. Faithfully maintaining the philosophy of PBL requires not only full compliance with its principles but also that its processes are managed efficiently. To facilitate the adoption of PBL, especially as to managing its processes, this article puts forward a framework based on Demig´s PDCA cycle. The framework highlights its ability to re-use artifacts and recommends models for the stages of planning, implementation, monitoring and corrective actions. Special attention is paid to the components that are essential to the framework: xPBL methodology, maturity models, such as PBLTest and valuation models, and authentic assessment. Results on the applicability of the framework during an under-graduate modular Computing course are also presented.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
The increasing and continuous presence of software products and services consumed daily by the society is gaining momentum with the development of the mobile device market. In this scenario, the demand for trained professionals in specific technologies for mobile platforms like Google Android and Samsung BADA, is growing rapidly. The Problem Based Learning method was used to solve practical and real problems inside a Program for teaching Software Engineering techniques to develop Mobile Devices; this program was inspired in the Medical Residency concept, and is called “Software Residency”, in which students learn by doing mobile applications in a real working environment implemented by a software factory. To execute this approach, a teaching and learning method was defined and applied based on authentic environment and authentic assessment, approach that brought relevant results towards the learning effectiveness in this context.
The continuous growth of the use of Information and Communication Technology in different sectors of the market calls out for software professionals with the qualifications needed to solve complex and diverse problems. Innovative teaching methodologies, such as the "Software Internship" model and PBL teaching approaches that are learner-centered and focus on bringing market reality to the learning environment, have been developed and implemented with a view to meeting this demand. However, the effectiveness of these methods cannot always be satisfactorily proved. Prompted by this, this paper proposes a model for assessing students based on real market practices while preserving the authenticity of the learning environment. To evaluate this model, a case study on skills training for software specialists for the Telecom market is discussed, and presents important results that show the applicability of the proposed model for teaching Software Engineering.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
The increasing application of student-centered teaching approaches to solve real problems, driven by the market's demand for professionals with better skills, has prompted the use of PBL in different areas, including in Computing. However, since this represents a paradigm shift in education, its implementation is not always well understood, which adversely affects its effectiveness. Within this context, this paper puts forward a model for assessing the maturity of teaching processes under the PBL approach, the PBL-Test, with a view to identifying points for improvement. The concept of maturity is defined in terms of teaching processes adhering to PBL principles, taken from an analysis of the following authors: Savery & Duffy (1995), Barrows (2001) Peterson (1997) and Alessio (2004). With a view to validating the applicability of the model, an empirical study was conducted by applying the PBL-Test to three skills in the Computing area. Results showed that although the model has shown it needs further enhancement, it has already been possible to identify improvements in PBL teaching processes that clearly affect the effectiveness of the approach.
Given the demand in the area of Software Engineering for solutions that actually contribute to modern organizations, the search for qualified professionals who have considerable practical experience has been growing day-by-day. Set against this background is the learning process of traditional teaching, in which the Student is largely a mere recipient of information, including concepts and theoretical foundations, and is seldom given practice in problem solving. Therefore with a view to minimizing this problem, teaching and learning methods such as the Problem Based Learning (PBL) have emerged in higher education as an approach to foster changes in teaching and learning processes, which are aligned to the new requirements of the labor market and redefine the roles of those involved in educational processes. To evaluate these processes, a case study on skills training to teach Usability Testing is discussed, and important results presented that show the applicability of the proposed approach for teaching Software Engineering.
S.C. dos Santos
added 2 research items
In order to exploit the benefits of PBL and mitigate the risk of failure when implementing it, the NEXT (iNnovative Educational eXperience in Technology) research group has been working on methods and tools focused on managing the PBL approach as applied to Computing. In this context, this article proposes a teaching and learning methodology based on PBL, called xPBL, consisting of elements that reinforce PBL principles, namely: real and relevant problems; a practical environment; an innovative and flexible curriculum; an authentic assessment process; close monitoring by technical tutors and process tutors, and finally, professional practitioners as teachers and tutors. Based on these elements, the paper describes the design of a PBL approach for a Design course, grounded on acquired knowledge of Design content and past PBL experiences in Software Engineering courses. This approach provides an insightful guide to implementing PBL from xPBL methodology, and provides instruments based on management techniques such as 5W2H (what, why, who, when, where, how and how much) and the production of artifacts to support the conception process of courses based on PBL.
The increasing application of student-centered teaching approaches to solve real problems, driven by the market´s demand for professionals with better skills, has prompted the use of PBL in different areas, including in Computing. However, since this represents a paradigm shift in education, its implementation is not always well understood, which adversely affects its effectiveness. Within this context, this paper puts forward a model for assessing the maturity of teaching processes under the PBL approach, the PBL-Test, with a view to identifying points for improvement. The concept of maturity is defined in terms of teaching processes adhering to PBL principles, taken from an analysis of the following authors: Savery & Duffy (1995), Barrows (2001) Peterson (1997) and Alessio (2004). With a view to validating the applicability of the model, an empirical study was conducted by applying the PBL-Test to three skills in the Computing area. Results showed that although the model has shown it needs further enhancement, it has already been possible to identify improvements in PBL teaching processes that clearly affect the effectiveness of the approach.
S.C. dos Santos
added 3 research items
Teaching Computer has led to the design of an educational model that is increasingly making use of market practices linked to business corporations. Within this scenario, a practical and dynamic learning system is being fostered that allows simulations to be carried out in real contexts through problem resolution. Based on constructivist theories, PBL (Problem-Based Learning) is a teaching method that is focused on the students and its main characteristic is that it uses real-world problems to create the learning content and teach the skills required for their solution. However, the adoption of this approach is not an easy task, since it is accompanied by abrupt changes in the traditional paradigm of education, which require changes in the attitudes of the actors involved. In addition, the planning and monitoring of the PBL, involve complex activities that are difficult to manage, especially with regard to determining the quality and compliance of the processes used for problem resolution. Additionally, the Computer Science courses require working on projects provided by real clients, within a dynamic and iterative development process. This strengthens the need to introduce strategies and technologies to support the implementation and management of the method and, enable its effectiveness to be monitored In addition, it provides continuous feedback, and assesses the results generated from the evaluation of the solutions produced during the teaching-learning process. Thus, it is essential to adopt strategies that allow a better management of teaching practice, improved learning by the students and a means of validating the clients involved. From this perspective, this paper presents a virtual teaching and learning environment, called PBLMaestro, which has been designed to support the workflow of a methodology for the implementation of PBL in teaching Computer Science, called xPBL. With the aid of xPBL, it is possible to perform the management of courses using the dynamics of a cycle and series of stages to allow a better control of management processes, by linking real problems to well-defined educational goals. In the case of teacher planning, we were used elements described in xPBL methodology, aligned with educational goals defined from the Bloom Revised Taxonomy. With regard to student tracking, we used the authentic assessment model and mechanisms of Learning Analytics. Gamification strategies were included to increase engagement, retention and motivation, and push notification messages were displayed in a mobile application the PBLMaestro was validated by means of application the environment in the context of the discipline “Network Design” of Computer Science Course, and the results are analyzed in this study. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers and there was a high degree of satisfaction among the tutors, students and customers who used the service, with regard to the usability and consistency of the proposed environment as well as with its improvements and changes. Although the environment was improved in the area of computer science, it is possible that it can provide support to the STEM context with some customizations.
The problem-based learning (PBL) approach has been successfully applied to teaching software engineering thanks to its principles of group work, learning by solving real problems, and learning environments that match the market realities. However, the lack of well-defined methodologies and processes for implementing the PBL approach represents a major challenge. The approach requires great flexibility and dynamism from all involved, whether in mapping content, in teacher performance, or laying out the process of how learners should go about solving problems. This paper suggests that management processes can help in implementing PBL throughout its life cycle (planning, implementation, monitoring, and enhancement), and proposes an assessment model called PBL-SEE for use in software engineering education (SEE). Two examples of its use are provided. The results show how the model can be applied and how the resulting information can be used to make the PBL initiatives "authentic," in that they bring the reality of the labor market to the learning environment, while keeping to PBL principles.
The Software Engineering sector has been demanding an education model that targets real market practices more and more exactly. This includes bearing in mind that, in the market, a software project is subject to numerous restrictions of time, budget and other resources required for its development. In this context, this article describes the application of a learning methodology based on problems, called xPBL. This methodology consists of elements that enable a learning environment to be built that in its essence is practical and contains real learning, and that ensure that this is supported by processes that make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the PBL approach from various perspectives: namely, the student's, the teacher's and that of the methodological approach itself. Based on this case study, evidence of the applicability of xPBL is demonstrated as is how the behavior should be understood of all stakeholders involved in the process of teaching and learning in one of the most complex disciplines of Software Engineering.
S.C. dos Santos
added a project goal
The PBL Framework is composed of three main pillars: 1) Process-based methodology (Rigor); 2) Information Technology to support this methodology (Efficiency); 3) PBL dissemination (Culture), which involves PBL practices and teacher training courses. Currently, this project involves four doctoral works, one master's work and one institutional work. The first work concerns the structuring of the framework in the format of the website; The second refers to a Canvas Toolkit for PBL planning; The third is an LMS system to manage PBL during the execution of a course; The fourth is a collaborative environment based on PBL, virtualizing the classroom; And the last one is the definition of a good practice guide for PBL. All of these works have been applied in undergraduate and graduate courses, including other PBL products developed by NEXT Research Group, such as the xPBL Methodology, the PBL-Test and the PBL-SEE (assessment model). The institutional project refers to the unification of the first year of three undergraduate courses in Computing (Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Systems) scheduled to start in 2017.