Problem-based Learning and Problem Finding Among University Graduate Students

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Ankit, A, Ravankar ; Shotaro, Imai ; Michiyo, Shimamura ; Go, Chiba ; Taichi, Takasuka (2017)
  • Publisher: 北海道大学高等教育推進機構
  • Journal: 高等教育ジャーナル : 高等教育と生涯学習, volume 24, pages 9-20 (issn: 1341-9374)
  • Subject:
    acm: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION

In recent years, problem-based learning (PBL) techniques have been gaining momentum in schools and university curricula around the world. The main advantage of the PBL method is that it promotes creative problem solving, improves cognition and enhances overall thought processes in learners. For most PBL-style programmes, problem solving is at the core, although the notion of problem discovery or problem finding is not seriously considered. In most cases, students are always presented with a structured and welldefined problem, but have no experience of solving an ill-structured problem or ʻwicked’ problem. The present study focuses on problem finding as a critical step towards developing problem solving skills in university graduate students. The study aims at understanding the importance of problem formulation and creativity, and focuses as well on our attempt to teach problem finding as an important tool in the development of creative thinking and problem solving among graduate students. The study is part of a special graduate programme called the Nitobe School at Hokkaido University in Japan, which started in 2015. In an active learning classroom setting, this course is intended to support graduate students in their discovery of illstructured problems, help them to understand their formulation and thereby improve their problem solving skills. We present the results of our teaching method for the first year at the Nitobe School and share our findings through this work.
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