Enhancing Generic Thinking Skills of Tertiary STEM Students through Puzzle-Based Learning
About this project
A significant number of tertiary STEM students drop out from their study during the first-year not because they find the courses are too difficult but because, in their words, they ‘are too dry and boring’.
This can be termed as emotional disengagement and academic disinterest.
The intention of using PPS in teaching/learning is to engage students' emotions, creativity and curiosity and also enhance their critical thinking skills and lateral thinking “outside the box”. The theoretical considerations of the project are based on the Puzzle-Based Learning concept that has become increasingly popular worldwide.
The impact of this pedagogical strategy will be evaluated via comprehensive questionnaires, interviews and class observations. The expected project outcomes include improving general problem-solving skills of tertiary STEM students and enhancing their creative thinking.
The impact of the suggested pedagogical strategy was evaluated via comprehensive questionnaires, interviews and class observations involving 137 STEM students from four groups at AUT and the University of Auckland.
The vast majority of the participants reported that the regular use of PPS helped them to enhance their problem-solving (91%) and generic thinking skills (92%). Apart from improving those skills, 82% of the participants commented on other various benefits from using this pedagogical strategy.
After analysing the observed overwhelming positive students’ attitudes we suggest that there is a need for further and more rigorous investigation of the suggested pedagogical strategy.
- Dr Sergiy Klymchuk, AUT
- Honorary Professor Mike Thomas, University of Auckland
- Professor Sergei Gulyaev, AUT
- Dr Tanya Evans, University of Auckland
Ako Aotearoa - $10,000
Auckland University of Technology - $26,250
Project completed November 2017
The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA/3.0-NZ). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.