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Title: Does PBL work? : an investigation into the effects of introducing a problem based learning approach to mathematics in first year at tertiary level
Author: Sheridan, Blathnaid
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 6902
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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This study explored the opinions and perceptions of first year mathematical sciences students towards problem-based learning as a teaching method for part of a foundation mathematics module. A piece of action research was undertaken and a mixed-method approach to data generation was used. Students’ opinions were obtained through a group interview carried out at the end of the module together with diary entries submitted by students over the duration of the module. Attitudes developed by students included the important role played by being an effective member of the group and constructive participation in group meetings. Students reported an improvement and enhanced awareness of skills such as independent learning skills, interaction within the group and communication skills. The value of being able to quickly and effectively resolve tensions within the group was also highlighted by many students. Whilst some students initially struggled with problem–based learning, they often developed strategies to help them to cope with their individual issues. Some students discussed how problem-based learning was not their preferred learning style and for some this opinion was not swayed during their experience of PBL. The different attitudes and indeed participation levels of students towards problem-based learning were highlighted in this study. Further research is now required to find out the reasons for these differences with the desire that all students be given the opportunities to develop knowledge and skills through problem-based learning that will help them throughout their studies and into their future careers. The findings of this study indicate that problem-based learning is an effective method to help students develop the skills and attitudes necessary to help them manage their future learning and working lives.
Supervisor: Scaife, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available