The Design, Development and Evaluation of a Problem-based Learning Module: Implications for Teaching Digital Technology Skills to Middle School Students

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Virginia Tech

With the call for a change in the way students are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century, new teaching methods are under investigation. Problem-based learning is one such method believed to encourage the skills students need to succeed. The purpose of this study is to outline the implications for using this approach to teach digital technology skills. Through this developmental study, a learning module was designed and developed for instruction in an eighth grade technology class. The research study also included an expert review and evaluation of the module through implementation in a middle school in southern New Jersey. The findings are presented and implications include the need for a shift in several aspects of education; a shift in how students are taught, a shift in the role teachers assume through this approach, and a shift in how teachers are trained to implement this teaching approach. Finally, recommendations are made for instructional designers seeking to develop a model for instruction in a problem-based learning environment.

middle school, technology skills, teaching methods, instructional design, problem-based learning