The role of project‐based learning in IT A case study in a game development and entrepreneurship program

The role of project‐based learning in IT A case study in a game development and... Purpose – Problem/project‐based‐learning (PBL) approaches have traditionally been shown to be effective for learning within many professional programs that are directly related to the students' future career. The PBL approach has been adopted for over four decades in such fields as medicine and engineering and studies have demonstrated that students working in a PBL context have improved their skill levels over students enrolled in traditional lecture‐based classes. In spite of these successes, PBL has not yet been often considered in computer science/IT‐related academic programs. This is due to a variety of factors, including lack of support from faculty, historical approaches precluding such innovation, and lack of motivation to innovate beyond the dominant and more traditionally known approaches. This paper presents a case study that outlines a particular approach that was adopted to attempt to overcome these limitations in order to introduce PBL to IT‐related studies. The context of this study is a particular program that involves students in industry‐relevant practices while learning the necessary theory and honing their skills. It aims to discuss how PBL has been integrated into the IT Game Development and Entrepreneurship program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, a laptop‐based institution. It also aims to provide qualitative results that would support the effective applicability of this PBL approach. Design/methodology/approach – A novel method for learning technical game development (theory and practice) is illustrated using a PBL pedagogical approach. The primary objective is to maintain academic integrity, improve critical thinking and problem‐solving skills, and introduce students to the theory of designing and developing video games. Findings – Preliminary results indicate that the proposed PBL method has improved students' skills and expanded their knowledge both theoretically and practically within their area of study. With the integration of this approach into the curriculum, the authors have seen a higher retention rate, increased motivation, and the development of higher quality work from students. Originality/value – This paper provides a discussion on the role of PBL in IT settings with practical and positive implications on student learning, involvement, and retention. The approach is innovative in higher education and provides a framework that can be easily adapted to other fields of study. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interactive Technology and Smart Education Emerald Publishing

The role of project‐based learning in IT A case study in a game development and entrepreneurship program

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1741-5659
D.O.I.
10.1108/17415651111141830
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Problem/project‐based‐learning (PBL) approaches have traditionally been shown to be effective for learning within many professional programs that are directly related to the students' future career. The PBL approach has been adopted for over four decades in such fields as medicine and engineering and studies have demonstrated that students working in a PBL context have improved their skill levels over students enrolled in traditional lecture‐based classes. In spite of these successes, PBL has not yet been often considered in computer science/IT‐related academic programs. This is due to a variety of factors, including lack of support from faculty, historical approaches precluding such innovation, and lack of motivation to innovate beyond the dominant and more traditionally known approaches. This paper presents a case study that outlines a particular approach that was adopted to attempt to overcome these limitations in order to introduce PBL to IT‐related studies. The context of this study is a particular program that involves students in industry‐relevant practices while learning the necessary theory and honing their skills. It aims to discuss how PBL has been integrated into the IT Game Development and Entrepreneurship program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, a laptop‐based institution. It also aims to provide qualitative results that would support the effective applicability of this PBL approach. Design/methodology/approach – A novel method for learning technical game development (theory and practice) is illustrated using a PBL pedagogical approach. The primary objective is to maintain academic integrity, improve critical thinking and problem‐solving skills, and introduce students to the theory of designing and developing video games. Findings – Preliminary results indicate that the proposed PBL method has improved students' skills and expanded their knowledge both theoretically and practically within their area of study. With the integration of this approach into the curriculum, the authors have seen a higher retention rate, increased motivation, and the development of higher quality work from students. Originality/value – This paper provides a discussion on the role of PBL in IT settings with practical and positive implications on student learning, involvement, and retention. The approach is innovative in higher education and provides a framework that can be easily adapted to other fields of study.

Journal

Interactive Technology and Smart EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 14, 2011

Keywords: Experiential learning; Problem based learning; Curriculum development; Games (curriculum)

References

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