Educating Our Students in Computer Application Concepts: A Case for Problem-Based Learning

Educating Our Students in Computer Application Concepts: A Case for Problem-Based Learning

Peter P. Mykytyn (Southern Illinois University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-945-8.ch092
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Abstract

Colleges of business have dealt with teaching computer literacy and advanced computer application concepts for many years, often with much difficulty. Traditional approaches to provide this type of instruction, that is, teaching tool-related features in a lecture in a computer lab, may not be the best medium for this type of material. Indeed, textbook publishers struggle as they attempt to compile and organize appropriate material. Faculty responsible for these courses often find it difficult to satisfy students. This paper discusses problem-based learning (PBL) as an alternative approach to teaching computer application concepts, operationally defined herein as Microsoft Excel and Access, both very popular tools in use today. First, PBL is identified in general, and then we look at how it is developed and how it compares with more traditional instructional approaches. A scenario to be integrated into a semester-long course involving computer application concepts based on PBL is also presented. The paper concludes with suggestions for research and concluding remarks.

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