Student Engagement in CIS Through Problem-Based Learning via Group Projects using Microsoft® Office Tools

Presenters: Rex Parr, Aims Community College & Victoria Sauber, Arapahoe Community College Problem-based learning in Computer Information Systems (CIS) classes addresses a question that continually plagues technician educators: “How can students be trained in required technical competencies and acquire employability skills to face complex problems on the job, when the time to complete training is so limited?” Problem-based learning is a holistic teaching method that is the only plausible way for educators to cover both competencies – the technical aspects of the curriculum needed to get an interview and the skills needed to get (and keep) a job.

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Student Engagement in CIS Through Problem-Based Learning via Group Projects using Microsoft® Office Tools

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Presenters: Rex Parr, Aims Community College & Victoria Sauber, Arapahoe Community College Problem-based learning in Computer Information Systems (CIS) classes addresses a question that continually plagues technician educators: “How can students be trained in required technical competencies and acquire employability skills to face complex problems on the job, when the time to complete training is so limited?” Problem-based learning is a holistic teaching method that is the only plausible way for educators to cover both competencies – the technical aspects of the curriculum needed to get an interview and the skills needed to get (and keep) a job.
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  1. Student Engagement in CIS Through Problem Based Learning

    Slide 1 - Student Engagement in CIS Through Problem Based Learning

    • Rex Parr, Aims Community College
    • Victoria Sauber, Arapahoe Community College
  2. Team Building Activity

    Slide 2 - Team Building Activity

    • Do this team building exercise before you introduce the class to the ITP.
    • Prove to the students the importance of focusing a group's energy toward problem solving in order to achieve the team's purpose. There are several Group Scenario exercises that you can choose for your class. Maybe a different one for every MS Application that you teach.
    • Teamwork Video
    • Icebreaker Time
  3. PBL Introduction

    Slide 3 - PBL Introduction

    • Questions to be answered and more
    • What are Soft Skills? Skills that could cause chaos in the classroom
    • What are Hard Skills? Technical skills taught in your classroom = short life
    • What is Project Based Learning? A team project that is infused with Soft and Hard skills
  4. PBL Introduction

    Slide 4 - PBL Introduction

    • Incorporate PBL
    • Infuse Soft Skills into technical courses via Project Based Learning (PBL) :
    • CIS-118 Introduction to PC Application
    • CNG-131 Network Security Fundamentals 
    • NOTE: When we refer to Computer Information Systems, we are referring to all technical computer courses.
  5. PBL Introduction

    Slide 5 - PBL Introduction

    • Why soft skills are so important?
    • Soft skills get little respect but will
    • or break your career.”
    • Peggy Klaus
  6. PBL Introduction

    Slide 6 - PBL Introduction

    • Enhance our PBL knowledge
    • CATEP Grant
    • Aims CO-PI of the Colorado Advanced Technological Education Partnership (CATEP) Grant, this experience has further enhanced my Soft Skill Knowledge.
    • Roots and Wings
    • Faculty Interdisciplinary Scenario-Based Tasks Development Workshop. Hosted by the SC ATE Center (Florence-Darlington Technical College, SC).
    • Sabbatical
    • An opportunity to reflect on the knowledge gained from the grant and workshop, as well as write a PBL for CIS118.
  7. PBL Introduction

    Slide 7 - PBL Introduction

    • A Realistic Project can be Exciting
    • Create a realistic project/challenge
    • Project encourages motivation
    • Project generates excitement, engagement, enthusiasm, etc.
    • Shifts from the teacher centered model to the student centered model
  8. PBL Introduction

    Slide 8 - PBL Introduction

    • Teacher Centered Model
    • Teacher in control
    • Professor lecturing
    • Students watching and listening
    • Students work individually on assignments
    • Cooperation is discouraged
    • Studies have shown that in 90 days students forget 90% of everything they have been told (Smilovitz, 1996). Motivation in such traditional classroom environments is also usually low.
  9. PBL Introduction

    Slide 9 - PBL Introduction

    • Teacher Centered
    • Students trying to Stay Focused & Awake
  10. PBL Introduction

    Slide 10 - PBL Introduction

    • Student Centered Model
    • Ingredients for PBL with No Neat Solutions
    • Active learning
    • Cooperative learning
    • Inductive teaching and learning
    • Instructor does not guide students to neat solutions to contrived problems
  11. PBL Introduction

    Slide 11 - PBL Introduction

    • PBL Classroom
    • Let the Learning Begin
    • Classroom in Chaos
  12. PBL Introduction

    Slide 12 - PBL Introduction

    • Time for some team work
    • A class project where students utilize the Hard Skills (technical skills) they have gained in the course and then infuse the Soft Skills from working as part of a team.
  13. PBL Introduction

    Slide 13 - PBL Introduction

    • Questions
    • Time for You to Get Involved
    • What kind of specific projects have you developed for your students?
    • What critical skills did they learn?
    • How would you place your students into teams?
    • What are the potential problems with teams?
  14. “…Companies would much rather spend their precious training dollars on improving ‘hard’ skills and keeping their work force ahead of the technical game.”  Andrew Sansom

    Slide 14 - “…Companies would much rather spend their precious training dollars on improving ‘hard’ skills and keeping their work force ahead of the technical game.” Andrew Sansom

    • “And … with technical skills having a “half-life” of just 18 months or so, this is hardly surprising.” Andrew Sansom
    • PBL Introduction
    • Technical Skills - Short Life
    • Life Expectancy is only 18 months
  15. PBL Introduction

    Slide 15 - PBL Introduction

    • Technical Skills – Need Glue
    • Quit grunting, get some glue
    • If technical skills are the key component, then Soft Skills are the glue that holds it all together.
    • Grunts are not clear communication
  16. PBL Introduction

    Slide 16 - PBL Introduction

    • CIO’s are looking for Soft Skills
  17. PBL Introduction

    Slide 17 - PBL Introduction

    • Personal Attributes:
    • Optimism
    • Responsibility
    • Sense of Humor
    • Integrity
    • Time-management
    • Motivation
    • Interpersonal Abilities:
    • Empathy
    • Leadership
    • Communications
    • Good Manners
    • Sociability
    • The ability to teach
    • Soft Skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike Hard Skills, which tend to be specific to a certain type of task or activity. Soft Skills are broadly applicable.
    • Do you have Soft Skills?
  18. Soft Skills – Recruiting Survey

    Slide 18 - Soft Skills – Recruiting Survey

    • Soft Skills Wanted
    • In a survey (2011) by technology recruiter, Robert Half, they asked 1,400 CIO’s “In which of the following areas do you think your IT staff could most use improvement?”
    • The answer…41% chose Soft Skills!!
    • PBL Introduction
  19. PBL Introduction

    Slide 19 - PBL Introduction

    • Charm School at MIT
    • CBS News Bill Geist reports (March 4, 2012):
    • Charm school at MIT - Students at MIT have the reputation for being nerds with no social skills. The faculty wants to change that by having the students attend MIT's charm school.
  20. PBL Introduction

    Slide 20 - PBL Introduction

    • Instructor guides students to neat solutions
    • Cookie Cutter Approach
    • Want some cookies?
  21. PBL Introduction

    Slide 21 - PBL Introduction

    • Open Climate
    • You are now FREE to Open your Mind
    • Establishing an Open Climate for PBL
    • Every student should feel free to say whatever comes to mind, any ideas or comments, no matter how unsophisticated or inappropriate they might seem, without being put down or criticized.
    • No one is expected to have all the answers
  22. PBL Introduction

    Slide 22 - PBL Introduction

    • Students
    • may find it initially unsettling
    • take responsibility for their own learning
    • work on ill-structured problems
    • willing to accept risk and uncertainty
    • become a self-directed learner
    • Transitioning
    • How will PBL transition affect the students?
  23. Discussion time

    Slide 23 - Discussion time

    • Would you introduce PBL into an intro technical course or an advance technical course?
    • What type of technical course would more beneficial to PBL?
  24. Soft Skills – Need JobDo you want a job? It is often said that Hard Skills will get you an interview, but you need the Soft Skills to get (and keep) the job!!!

    Slide 24 - Soft Skills – Need JobDo you want a job? It is often said that Hard Skills will get you an interview, but you need the Soft Skills to get (and keep) the job!!!

    • PBL Introduction
  25. PBL Introduction

    Slide 25 - PBL Introduction

    • Soft Skills Research
    • Research shows Soft Skills are Essential
    • According to Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC), the skills in highest demand through 2014 in contrast to technical skills include persuasion, negotiation, complex problem solving, time management, and decision-making
  26. CIS118 International Travel Project

    Slide 26 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • Overview  
    • Step 1: Create a Business
    •  Contract – This is a team agreement on how your business will be run.
    • Minutes – The official written record of your team meetings.
    •  Step 2: Marketing Material
    •  Poster – An 8 ½” by 11” poster designed to get the attention of a potential client.
    • Brochure – This is a tri-fold color brochure given to a potential client who wants more information.
    • Presentation – This is a formal presentation of your travel package.
    • The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine
  27. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 27 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • Benefits
    • Creativity
    • Exciting
    • Evaluation
    • Works for any size class
    • Share design ideas
    • Easily modified
    • Most important, it is fun and entertaining to the students which equates to enhanced learning.
  28. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 28 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • MS WORD
    • Teams create a brochure and a poster, as well as a tourist table that will be imported from Access.
    • Brochure
    • The design will contain a cover page, border, pictures, table, multi-level list, highlight, indent, WordArt, Drop Cap, header and footer, and page numbering.
    • Poster
    • The design will contain pictures, WordArt, and SmartArt.
    • Tourist table
    • This table will contain demographic and personal information that the travelers – in this case, all of the students in the class - are willing to share.
    • Getting ready to import and export
  29. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 29 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • MS EXCELEach team develops 4 worksheets: Cost Breakdown, Money Conversion System, Calendar of Excursions, and Summary.
    • Cost Breakdown worksheet
    • It includes 8% for administrative fees, and 10% for the “Refer-A- Friend” incentive. It shows the daily cost for each day of the travel package.
    • Money Conversion System worksheet
    • The country’s currency rate is compared to a minimum of three other country currency rates from the other teams’ tour selections. The worksheet should have the ability to refresh those numbers anytime and reflect them in a chart.
    • Calendar of Excursions worksheet
    • This is a chart that reflects the different excursions.
    • Summary worksheet
    • This worksheet contains all the charts linked to their brochure.
  30. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 30 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • MS ACCESS
    •  Teams will develop 3 tables: Tourist table, Daily Tour table, and Major Cities table.
    • Tourist table
    • The Tourist table was developed and imported from the Word section.
    • Daily Tour table
    • The Tourist table was developed and imported from the Word section.
    • Major Cities table
    • This table contains information about the major cities of interest (minimum of 3) in the chosen country. Features of the cities may include major industry, recreation, language, etc.
  31. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 31 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • PowerPoint
    • Before the formal presentation, teams submit their slides to the instructor.
    • All students have a role in the presentation.
    • The presentation should last between 10 and 15 minutes.
    • Professional appearance enhances the appeal of the travel package.
    • The students presentation must be designed, developed and presented with the aim of convincing the audience that each team has the best travel package. Presentation skills are included as a part of the project grade.
    • Time to sell
  32. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 32 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • Evaluation & Minutes
    • Student evaluation is the sum of several evaluations which insures that all the students on the same team will not get the same grade. Besides encouraging team cooperation, these evaluations also promote individual effort.
    • Team Evaluation –The students evaluate each student on their team in secrecy. Due date is at the end of the course.
    • Team Business Evaluations –The instructor evaluates the team contract to make sure that it clearly defines the team’s ground rules and the team minutes to insure that it records the team activities.
    • Conference Evaluations –The instructor makes sure that each team is on track with the ITP timeline.
    • Project Evaluation –The instructor evaluates the completed project at the end of the course.
    • Presentation Evaluation – Each team must convince the class and instructor that they have the best travel package.
    • Example
  33. CIS118  International Travel Project

    Slide 33 - CIS118 International Travel Project

    • Brochures created by real students!
    • Examples
  34. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 34 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • Need Security?
    • Make My Day!
  35. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 35 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • AIA Project
    • The students will create a corporation, Aims Intelligence Agency (AIA). Their sole job is to write a proposal accompanied with a video on how they will transform Aims campus into a government training agency.
  36. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 36 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • AIA Project
    • Participating Departments:
    • Communication Media
    • Information Technology
    • Allied Health
    • Aviation
    • Participating Vendors:
    • Blackbox
    • Good Samaritan
    • Motorola
    • Juniper Network
  37. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 37 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • AIA Project
    • Based on participation, attendance and team website
    • Evaluation of student presentation by faculty, staff and others
  38. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 38 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • VNP
    • Veterinarian Network Proposal
    • Emphasis on security that will fit most small clinics
    • Vet On Wheels
  39. CNG131  Network Security Fundamentals

    Slide 39 - CNG131 Network Security Fundamentals

    • VNP
    • Work with a Vet Office to develop a proposal on incorporating network security
    • Develop a team website on their accomplishment
    • Evaluation of student presentation by faculty, staff and others
  40. Web Page Design

    Slide 40 - Web Page Design

    • You can Infuse soft Skills into Any Technical Course
    • For Example: Network Security Fundamentals, Veterinarian Network Proposal, and now in the process of being incorporating into the International Travel Project.
    • -Introduced Web Page design as part of the Team project.
    • NOTE: There are FREE websites designed for a novice to build a website.
  41. Have fun!

    Slide 41 - Have fun!

    • Relax and have fun with PBL
  42. PBL Conclusion

    Slide 42 - PBL Conclusion

    • Do you want to make learning fun?
    • Or would you prefer the traditional method of teaching?
    • Start Infusing Soft Skills into your technical course using PBL.
    • YOUR CHOICE?
  43. PBL Conclusion

    Slide 43 - PBL Conclusion

    • Student Role
    • What Role do you want to play?
    • Students role becomes more active
    • problem-solver
    • decision-maker
    • meaning-maker
    • Students are not merely passive listeners and note-takers
  44. Share with Others

    Slide 44 - Share with Others

    • Don’t be greedy - share this presentation
    • Need a Copy of the International Project – http://www.catepgrant.org/