Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1957

Full Length Research Paper

Motivation heightens and independent thinking deepens: Undergraduate students share their experiences of PBL while learning Microeconomics

Rhonda Dookwah
  • Rhonda Dookwah
  • Business Administration, School of Business and Management, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Jamaica.
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Gabriel Julien
  • Gabriel Julien
  • Programme Delivery Department, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Open Campus Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 09 July 2022
  •  Accepted: 17 August 2022
  •  Published: 31 August 2022

Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze the use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in learning Microeconomics. It aims to answer the following research questions: What are the experiences of undergraduate students who studied with Problem-Based Learning (PBL)? Is this strategy useful at the undergraduate level? Does PBL really motivate students? Does it foster independent thinking? These questions are interesting but very complex and convoluted. The above questions created parameters for this action research which was done in relation to the teaching of an undergraduate course at a tertiary education institution. This paper presents the experiences of sixteen undergraduates at a tertiary institution in Trinidad and Tobago called New Model University. There is a paucity of information in the local setting as it pertains to this topic. As a result, the experiences of these sixteen students are valuable. Their diverse voices and varied experiences can certainly fill the existing gap. They can be instrumental for the better creation of policy. They can also assist in the effective implementation of PBL at tertiary education in Trinidad and Tobago. Furthermore, their voices and opinions answer the research question: What are the experiences of students who use Problem-Based Learning in the study of Microeconomics at New Model University? A seven-step approach to PBL was utilized as the main teaching and learning process. A case study was conducted over a period of twelve weeks. It incorporated open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews with four focus groups. The individual reflections and independent experiences of these sixteen students were carefully documented in weekly journals, and this complemented the data collection process. Data were collected, collated, analyzed, and narrated using six major themes. Recommendations which strongly advocate student-centered strategies were offered.

 

Key words: Teaching approaches, Problem-Based Learning (PBL), independent thinking.