Increasingly, nowadays students must learn more advanced technical skills in order to secure jobs in a competitive 21st century workforce. This is true even in the Gulf Countries, including the UAE, where less IT work opportunities are available and where competition to find a good IT job is becoming harder. Yet the curriculum that was available to teach them these cutting-edge skills was often textbook-based, uninspiring, and limited in its appeal. Therefore, it was essential to address these issues at the curriculum of developmental program of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) before students move on to their specific discipline. Considering the earlier mentioned flaws in IT, UGRU curriculum, leadership team in spring 2005 decided to introduce critical and creative thinking and cognition based ICT literacy program along with PBL (Problem Based Learning). The basic objectives of the PBL projects are to promote (i) Research, (ii) Critical Thinking, and (iii) Application of ICT knowledge. The themes of the projects are based on geo-social, scientific or general awareness. In this paper the IT UGRU developmental program will be compared to those counterparts that exist in leading Universities such as UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, UK, Canada, and USA. This paper describes the PBL based teaching strategies and their overall effectiveness. It also discusses the impact of these projects on student learning and achieving educational goals. Results are very encouraging. The outcome of this research indicates that using PBL in ICT classrooms can help students become self learners, able to search out, understand, analyze, and synthesize information in a better way. It also helps them to understand the real value of ICT in their lives.
Sharma, Anil; Ahmed, Hussain A.; Chehime, Hussein; and Na, Divya, "17P. Building ICT Success Using PBL Based Practices" (2010). CONF-IRM 2010 Proceedings. 47.