LSL/OER Talk: Problem-based learning in Asia: Investigating student identities in small group interactions

LSL/OER Talk: Problem-based learning in Asia: Investigating student identities in small group interactions

Date & Time

14 April 2014, 00:00




Learning Sciences Lab (LSL)
Office of Education Research (OER)



Events Details

  • By Dr Jun Jin

    Faculty of Education
    The University of Hong Kong

    Date: 14 April 2014 (Mon)

  • Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm

  • Venue: LSL Meeting Room (NIE5-B3)

    OBJECTIVE: Problem-based learning (PBL) has increasingly been employed as a teaching and learning approach in higher education, particularly in medicine and dentistry. In English medium of instruction (EMI) universities in Asia, knowledge is constructed through the development of language and communicative skills in a multilingual and multicultural context. It is necessary to explore how linguistically diverse learners participate in PBL, given the high linguistic and knowledge demands that it entails. Thus, the speaker will share a study on spoken English interaction in PBL tutorials at an English medium university in Asia.

    METHODS: The study used qualitative interview data, including semi-structured interviews and stimulated recall, to follow up students’ spoken English interaction experiences in two PBL groups in their first year. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used as the analytical framework. Particular attention was paid to the development and enactment of student identities.

    RESULTS: Results indicated that students take up multiple identities in PBL tutorials: ranging from being a group member to a future doctor. These identities can change and be negotiated during students’ knowledge construction and have an important impact on personal participation. Moreover, the data also showed that although students actively participate in PBL tutorials, they still expect facilitators to guide them during the discussion.

    CONCLUSION: The theoretical and practical implications of this study for understanding student engagement, language, and knowledge construction of linguistically diverse learners in PBL will be discussed. The speaker will also share her experiences in facilitating professional development (PD) workshops to improve the quality of PBL outcomes.

    Dr Jun JIN is a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in Hong Kong. She obtained an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (Distinction) at the University of Southampton in UK, and earned a PhD in Education at The University of Hong Kong. She previously taught Chinese as a second/foreign language at different educational levels. Currently, she is working on three problem-based learning (PBL) projects. Two have focused on educational technologies in PBL across three faculties in undergraduate clinical education, and one has explored student identities in small group interactions in PBL.