Enhancing students’ graduate attributes (GAs) through problem based learning and service learning in formal academic courses

Abstract

The goal of education is to nurture our students and develop them as whole persons. However, the emphasis of tertiary education has always been on the acquisition of technical knowledge that is pertinent to the profession studied. Until recently, increasing emphasis is being placed on university graduates’ attainment of generic capabilities that enable them to function effectively as citizens in both local and international communities. In this connection, this specific CoP has gathered a group of nine academic and administrative colleagues who are interested in adopting innovative pedagogies to improve students’ learning and assess how well our students have attained the GAs through the participation in classroom activities and/or services in the community. Two teaching and learning activities (TLAs) viz Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Service Learning (SL) will be adopted in order to improve students’ various generic capabilities, e.g. social responsibility, problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills. All participating teachers will choose either PBL or SL as the major TLA in their own courses. The project will be evaluated and monitored through various performance indicators and outcomes measurements, e.g. course-embedded assessments, surveys, interviews, portfolio, etc. It is believed that the findings from this CoP project will contribute to the knowledge base of teaching and learning at HKBU and the impact of the use of PBL and SL will be evident. We trust that members of this CoP will continue the momentum of adopting these pedagogies and sharing their teaching experiences and practices even after the project is completed.