York lead: Henrice Altink
Our BA programme addresses global challenges through innovative problem-based learning (PBL). PBL is a pedagogical approach whereby students learn while they engage actively with meaningful problems in small groups. Students first use “triggers” from a problem case or scenario to define their own learning objectives. They then undertake an independent, self-directed study before returning to their group to discuss and refine the knowledge that they have acquired through their study.
PBL is a flexible tool and has been adapted to many educational settings. Yet there is limited experience of using PBL with student populations that come from a heterogeneous set of cultures in terms of nationality, race, ethnicity, class etc. This project, funded by the York-Maastricht-Partnership (YMP), explores ways in which PBL can be adjusted to meet the increasing diversity of our student body. In doing so, it contributes to the IGDC’s vision to equip our students to become responsible and engaged global citizens.
The project consists of three workshops over two years. The first workshop (August 2020) will discuss the inter-cultural hurdles in student-centred learning processes and identify current best practices that work regardless of diversity and also consider those that cannot easily be changed because they fulfil important functions in the didactic set-up of PBL. This discussion will inform the development of a best-practice toolkit, including training material for tutors and introductory material for students on the two new BA programmes.
The second workshop will review the implementation of the toolkit and revise it and design three PBL classes informed by the toolkit to be taught on the two BA programmes in 2021-22. And the final workshop focuses on the use of PBL to teach Global Challenges and will include some of York’s and Maastricht’s Global South partners as PBL is currently not a teaching mode commonly used by them. York and Maastricht tutors will share their experiences of teaching the jointly-designed PBL classes and discuss with the Global South partners the applicability and transferability of the toolkit.