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The ASEAN Journal of Education ASEAN Journal of Education

Problem-based Teaching Skills to Promote Skills in Communication and Use of Information Technology by Students Majoring in Information Technology


Narongrit Piromnok,


Abstract

This research aimed to develop skills in communication and use of information technology of students majoring in information technology who learned through problem-based teaching and to measuring learners’ satisfaction levels with the learning set-up through problem-based teaching. Research results are as follows: 1) the evaluation of skills in communication and use of information technology through presentation work in front of the class showed that media design received the highest average score ( χ= 3.67), followed by communication ( χ = 3.31) and use of media ( χ = 3.12). As for the report summarizing project results, content received the highest average score (χ = 3.52) followed by report format (χ = 3.28) and use of language (χ = 2.96). 2) Learners were most satisfied with the set-up of problem-based learning activities to promote skills in communication and use of technology via the teacher’s use of a variety of technology media such as video clips, PowerPoint media, and examples of programs to complement the teaching (χ= 3.63, SD = 0.56), followed by learners’ freedom to do their own research in and outside class (χ= 3.62, SD = 0.54) and learners’ presentation using a variety of useful media (χ = 3.60, SD = 0.54).

Introduction

  Higher education institutes are part of the organizations which can force educational reform by adjusting the instructional roles in the twenty-first century.  They can make the learning process flexible enough to promote and support life-long education, enhance and develop the new generation of their graduates to be equipped with knowledge and morality, and assist in creating nice and smart people.  These graduates should be able to solve the problems and develop the quality of higher education for the participation into the ASEAN Community  (Office  of  Higher  Education  Commission,  B.E.  2554:  59).  At  present, information technology and communication has played such a great role in daily life that they have become the fifth necessity for living.  In the period of communication, the development of technology and communication was so rapid that the learning resources were accessible.  This has enabled knowledge to be used for problem solution.  There are many channels to access  learning  resources.  The  learning  resources  expanded  from  spoken  language  into digital  media,  like  video  clips,  documentaries,  news,  moving  pictures  and  case  studies.  Moreover,  there  is  also  access  to  learning  resources  abroad.   Students  majoring  in Information Technology, who directly deal with a variety of technology, need development of their proficiency in communicative skills and use of information technology, as mentioned in the fifth learning standard, namely mathematical analytical thinking, communicative skills, and information technology skills, of the Thai Qualifications Framework for Bachelors of Computer, B.E. 2552.  Problem-based instruction, which provides the learners with the IT tools  currently  available,  can  enable  the  learners  to  access  the  learning  resources  for systematic  problem  solution.   However,  the  learners  need  to  be  aware  of  accurate communication in their own language and in the target language.  Moreover, the learners should also be stimulated to summarize the key concepts of the assigned tasks and present the information through various forms of information technology.  In this way, the learners will be equipped with the skills to present information media with awareness of the appropriate principles of communication, as part of their preparation for joining the ASEAN Community.  

 

Methodology

  1. Population/Sample

    The population comprised 54 second-year students, and the 46 and 74 third-year students, majoring in Information Technology, who studied Computer Operation System, Introduction  to  Service  Science  and  Laws  and  Ethics  in  Information  Professionalism, respectively, in the first semester of Academic year 2013.  

  1. Collection of Data

    2.1  The data were collected in class from observations and inquiries while the learners gave presentations, and from evaluations with the evaluation form of communication skills and use of information technology.  

    2.2  The  data  were  collected  after  class  from  the  questionnaire  designed  to evaluate  the  learners’  satisfaction  with  the  problem-based  instruction,  promotion  of communication skills and use of information technology.

  1. Research Instruments

    3.1  The  lesson  plan  for  problem-based  instruction  was  used  to  promote  the information technology students’ skills in communication and use of information technology, as specified in Table 1.

 

Table 1  Lesson Plan for Problem-Based Instruction 

 

 

    3.2  The  assessment  form  of  skills  in  communication  and  use  of  information technology developed to assess the skills and usage was divided into 2 parts.  In the former part, the presentation to class about the assessment of the skills and usage was divided into   5 aspects, with a score of 4 points for each, or 20 points as the total score.  In the latter part, the  summary  report  of  the  project  to  assess  the  skills  in  communication  and  use  of information  technology  was  divided  into  5  aspects,  with  the  score  of  4  points  for  each,   or 20 points as the total score. 

    3.3  The evaluation form for learner’s satisfaction with problem-based instruction to promote skills in communication and use of information technology was designed with a 4-point  rating  scale  and  with  open-ended  questions  at  the  end,  The  numerical  values corresponded to the following qualifications (Srisa-ard, B.E. 2535: 100).

      4  - most satisfied

      3  - very satisfied

      2  - not really satisfied

      1  - least satisfied  28

  Then the values of satisfaction were interpreted, according to following rubric.

      The value of 3.50 – 4.00 means that the learner was most satisfied.

      The value of 2.50 – 3.49 signifies that the learner was quite satisfied.

      The value of 1.50 – 2.49 signifies that the learner was not really satisfied.

      The value of 1.00 – 1.49 signifies that the learner was least satisfied.

  1. Statistics Used in Data Analysis

    The statistics used in the analysis of data were mean and standard deviation.

 

Results

  1. Findings on the evaluation of skills in communication and use of information technology  

    The  findings  on  the  evaluation  of  skills  in  communication  and  information technology use of the three courses, with the criterion-referenced evaluation according to the rubric, could be divided into the two following parts.

    1)  Class Presentation for the Evaluation of Skills in Communication and IT Use of the 3 Courses, as described in Table 2 

 Table 2   Average Values of Class Presentation Scores for Evaluation of Skills in      Communication and IT Use of 3 Courses 

 

 

 

    According to Table 2, it was found that the result of the learners’ satisfaction evaluation through the specified rubric of class presentation for the Computer Operation System Course   was valued at 15.18 on average.  In particular, the evaluation result of media design and communication was valued in the highest level, at 3.64.  For the Introduction to Service Science Course, the evaluation result was 14.50 on average.  Considering particular issues, the evaluation result of media design was valued in the highest level, at 3.50.  For the Laws and Ethics in Information Professionalism Course, the evaluation result was 17.25 on average.  In particular, the evaluation result of media design was valued in the highest level, at 3.88.  For the overview of class presentation for all of the three courses, it was revealed that  the  evaluation  result  of  media  design  was  valued  in  the  highest  level  ( χ= 3.67), followed by communication and use of media, at  χ= 3.31 and  χ= 3.12, respectively.

    2)  Summary  Report  of  the  Project  for  Overall  Evaluation  of  Skills  in Communication and Use of Information Technology in 3 Courses, as described in Table 3

 

Table 3  Means in Summary Report of Project for Overall Evaluation of Skills in 

  Communication and Use of Information Technology in 3 Courses 

 

 

 

    According to Table 3, it revealed the average result of the learners’ satisfaction evaluation through  the specified rubric in the project report for the Computer Operation System Course was valued at 14.64.  In particular, the issue of contents got the highest score at 3.36.  For the Introduction of Service Science Course, the average result was valued at 15.83.  In particular, the issues of contents and report format got the highest average scores of 3.33.  For the Law and Ethics in Information Professionalism, the average result was valued at 16.25.  In particular, the issue of contents got the highest average score at 3.88.  In terms of the overview of the summary report of the project, it revealed that the contents got the highest average score, at  χ= 3.52, followed by the report format and the language use at  χ = 3.28 and  χ = 2.96, respectively.    

  1. Findings  on  Learners’  Satisfaction  with  Problem-Based  Instruction  to Promote  Skills  in  Communication  and  Use  of  Information Technology  (Provided  in Table 3) 

 

Table 4  Means  and  Standard  Deviation  of  Learners’  Satisfaction  with  Problem-Based     Instruction  to  Promote  Skills  in  Communication  and  Use  of  Information     Technology in Particular and Overall Aspects

 

    According  to  Table  4,  the  learners  were  satisfied  with  the  problem-based instruction to promote skills in communication and use of information technology.  As a whole, the learners were highly satisfied at the level of  χ= 3.47, SD = 0.59.  In particular, the learners were found to be most satisfied with 3 items above.  The most satisfying item was Item 15, which stated that the instructor used various technological media, like video clips and PowerPoint Program for instruction, at the level of  χ = 3.63, SD = 0.56.  The next most satisfying item was Item 8, which stated that the learners had freedom to search for knowledge by themselves, both inside and outside the classroom, at the level of  χ= 3.62, SD = 0.54.  The third most satisfying item was Item 20, which stated that the learners gave a presentation with various useful media, at the level of  χ = 3.60, SD = 0.54.

    According the open-ended questions, the media which were used the most often were presentation programs, like PowerPoint Program, at the level of 95%, followed by the VDO editing program, at the level of 87%, the picture editing program, at the level of 75%, and other presentation programs, at the level of 20%.

 

Discussion 

  The research findings revealed that the problem-based instruction promoted skills in communication  and  use  of  information  technology  in  class  presentations  and  summary project reports.  The problem-based instruction helped the learners solve the problem by allowing them to search for information from information sources by themselves, make their own decision on the knowledge they searched for, and cooperate with their classmates in groups; the instructor served only as a facilitator.  The specification of scoring criteria for class presentations and summary project report stimulated the learners to be active in working on the assigned tasks.  Moreover, the problem-based instruction provided the learners with some freedom to study, both inside and outside the classroom.  The learners could also give presentations with various kinds of media.  Meanwhile, the instructor’s use of various media also made the learners satisfied with the problem-based instruction. 

 

References

Office  of  Higher  Education  Commission.  (B.E.  2554).   Office  of  Higher  Education Commission’s Annual  Report,  B.E.  2554.  Retrived  from  http://www.mua.go.th/pr_web/annaulreport/0.


Key words: skills in communication, use of information technology, problem-based teaching
     
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