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Data structures and algorithms course is a core foundation .... (1). Outward Bound learning expeditions,. (2) postsecondary models of "problem-based" learning.

International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications.

An Approach on Effective & Efficient Project-Based Learning (PBL) Rajesh Kannan. R1, Shashank Mahajan2, R. Rajkumar3 School Of Computer Science & Engineering, VIT University, India

interest and reinforce memory retention because they provide connections between facts and real-world applications of those facts. Lectures, on the other hand, are often geared more towards factual presentation than connective learning.

ABSTRACT Data structures and algorithms course is a core foundation stone in a computer science curriculum which has considerable difficulty not only in learning but also in teaching. In order to help students to master the algorithms, this paper describes the use of Project Based Learning in data structures and algorithms course teaching. The research shows, it acquires an obviously good effect in teaching practice. PBL projects are focused on questions or problems that "drive" students to encounter (and struggle with) the central concepts and principles of a discipline. This criterion is a subtle one. The definition of the project (for students) must "be crafted in order to make a connection between activities and the underlying conceptual knowledge that one might hope to foster. From the obtained results with performed experimental evaluation, the realized Project Based Learning model may provide more effective and efficient educational experience.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING Collaboration allows students to actively participate in the learning process by talking with each other and listening to other points of view. Collaboration establishes a personal connection between students and the topic of study and it helps students think in a less personally biased way. Group projects and discussions are examples of this teaching method. Teachers may employ collaboration to assess student's abilities to work as a team, leadership skills, or presentation abilities. Collaborative discussions can take a variety of forms, such as fishbowl discussions. After some preparation and with clearly defined roles, a discussion may constitute most of a lesson, with the teacher only giving short feedback at the end or in the following lesson.

INTRODUCTION A teaching method comprises the principles and methods used for instruction. Commonly used teaching methods may include class participation, demonstration, recitation, memorization, or combinations of these. The choice of teaching method or methods to be used depends largely on the information or skill that is being taught, and it may also be influenced by the aptitude and enthusiasm of the students.

CLASS BASED LEARNING As beneficiaries of this scheme described as being "imposed from above and from outside", the students are expected to docilely and obediently receive and believe these fixed answers. Teachers are the instruments by which this knowledge is communicated and these standards of behaviour are enforced. ADVANTAGES OF CLASS BASED LEARNING  Combination of visual, oral, reading, writing and kinesthetic components.  Fewer distractions allow for increased concentration on material.  Through face to face communication, additional information is available such as that deduced through body language, tone, volume and modulation of voice. Altogether, face to face communication offers a greater richness of information.  Evaluation process for such type of learning is straight forward and easy.

METHODS OF INSTRUCTIONS MATERIALS Explaining, or lecturing, is the process of teaching by giving spoken explanations of the subject that is to be learned. Lecturing is often accompanied by visual aids to help students visualize an object or problem. Explaining may meet the needs of auditory or visual learning preference but often fails to meet the needs of individuals with other learning preference, such as kinesthetic or social learners. DEMONSTRATION Demonstrating is the process of teaching through examples or experiments. For example, a science teacher may teach an idea by performing an experiment for students. A demonstration may be used to prove a fact through a combination of visual evidence and associated reasoning. Demonstrations are similar to written storytelling and examples in that they allow students to personally relate to the presented information. Memorization of a list of facts is a detached and impersonal experience, whereas the same information, conveyed through demonstration, becomes personally relatable. Demonstrations help to raise student

DISADVANTAGES OF CLASS BASED LEARNING  Students become accustomed to the problems which are taught in the class only.  Teaching becomes monotonous as there is nothing new which can be imparted to the students.  The students become completely dependent on the teacher alone, which impairs their growth.  The problem solving capability of the students become restricted ie. the sample space of knowledge becomes restricted or limited.


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications. development, and community building (Udall & Rugen, 1996, p. xi). Although descriptions of expeditions (Udall & Mednick, 1996) resemble descriptions of projects in the PBL literature, Expeditionary Learning classrooms differ from other Project-Based Learning classrooms in conceptual as well as structural ways. Conceptually, learning expeditions tend to embody some of the characteristics of wilderness expeditions. They invariably involve fieldwork, service, teamwork, character building, reflection, and building a connection to the world outside of the classroom. Additionally, students keep a portfolio of their work, and schools work to develop a "culture of revision" and craftsmanship. Structurally, EL is a framework for whole school improvement. The Expeditionary Learning model is intended to transform curriculum, instruction, assessment, and school organization. Thus, Expeditionary Learning classrooms tend to have a number of unique structural features, including technical assistance links with Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) centers in their region (or with national faculty), logistical arrangements such as flexible or block scheduling and heterogeneous grouping, whole school changes in school organization and culture, and increased involvement of parents and community people (New American Schools Development Corporation, 1997). Among the structural features, perhaps the most unique feature is that participation in Expeditionary Learning tends to alter teaching assignments such that teachers tend to work with the same group of students for two years or longer (Rugen & Hartl, 1994).

PROJECT BASED LEARNING DEFINING FEATURES OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING Projects involve students in a constructive investigation. An investigation is a goal-directed process that involves inquiry, knowledge building, and resolution. Investigations may be design, decision-making, problem- finding, problemsolving, discovery, or model-building processes. But, in order to be considered as a PBL project, the central activities of the project must involve the transformation and construction of knowledge (by definition: new understandings, new skills) on the part of students. If the central activities of the project represent no difficulty to the student or can be carried out with the application of already-learned information or skills, the project is an exercise, not a PBL project. This criterion means that straightforward service projects such as planting a garden or cleaning a stream bed are projects, but may not be PBL projects. Projects are student-driven to some significant degree. PBL projects are not, in the main, teacher-led, scripted, or packaged. Laboratory exercises and instructional booklets are not examples of PBL, even if they are problem-focused and central to the curriculum. PBL projects do not end up at a predetermined outcome or take predetermined paths. PBL projects incorporate a good deal more student autonomy, choice, unsupervised work time, and responsibility than traditional instruction and traditional projects. Projects are realistic, not school-like. Projects embody characteristics that give them a feeling o f a u t h e n t i c i t y t o s t u d e n t s. T h e s e characteristics can include the topic, the tasks, the roles that students play, the context within which the work of the project is carried out, the collaborators who work with students on the project, the products that are produced, the audience for the project's products, or the criteria by which the products or performances are judged. Gordon (1998) makes the distinction between academic challenges, scenario challenges, and real-life challenges. PBL incorporates real-life challenges where the focus is on authentic (not simulated) problems or questions and where solutions have the potential to be implemented.

PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING: PROJECTS Incorporating Ill-Defined Problems The original problem-based learning model was developed for use with medical students in Canada (Barrows, 1992). The model was designed to help interns improves their diagnostic skills through working on "ill-structured problems. " Medical students are introduced to a diagnostic problem, usually a patient with a complaint or illness. Using a database of information and test data about this patient and guided by a facilitator who plays the role of a coach or Socratic questioner, students are led to construct a diagnosis by generating hypotheses, collecting information relevant to their ideas (e. g., interviewing the patient, reading test data), and evaluating their hypotheses. The process, which has been used in business, architecture, law, and graduate education schools (Savey & Duffy, 1985), combines problem statements, databases, and a tutorial process to help students hone their hypothetico - deductive thinking skills. Similarly, case-based methods have been used in medical, business, and legal education to help students become proficient at preparing briefs and making presentations (Williams, 1992). More recently, the "problem-based learning" model has been extended to mathematics, science, and social studies classes at the elementary and secondary level (Stepien & Gallagher, 1993). Much of this research has emanated from the Center for Problem Based Learning at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, Illinois where the faculty have developed a one-semester problem-based course entitled Science, Society, and the Future focused on

LITERATURE SURVEY OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING There are at least two traditions from which PBL research and practice seem to emerge: (1) Outward Bound learning expeditions, (2) postsecondary models of "problem-based" learning.

OUTWARD BOUND AND LEARNING EXPEDITION "Expeditionary Learning" (EL) is a PBL design that grew out of Outward Bound (OB), an adventure and service-based education program known for its wilderness expeditions. EL learning expeditions are defined as "intellectual investigations built around significant projects and performances. " These expeditions combine intellectual inquiry, character


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications. "unresolved science-related social issues. " Although the research and development activities related to "problem-based learning" described in this review have a tutorial ingredient not found in the average PBL design, the problem-based learning studies have all of the defining features of PBL (centrality, driving question, constructive investigation, autonomy, and realism). Moreover, this tutorial ingredient is not nearly as structured or scripted as it is in post-secondary models and is similar in form to the scaffolding or "procedural facilitation" interventions described in a subsequent section.

OBJECTIVES Any statement about the profile of the graduate form a PBL program should clearly identify the relationship between the profile of the graduate and the objectives of the PBL course. The students should be able to do:  Deal with problems, reason critically and creatively. 
  Make reasoned decisions in unfamiliar situations. 
  Adapt to and participate in change. 
  Appreciate another person’s point of view. 
  Make self-evaluations. 
  Identify own strengths and weaknesses and undertake appropriate redemption, and 

Figure 1

PROJECT-BASED TEACHING As paradigmatic of educative innovations, introduction of new technologies, it is a shift to a student-centred educative process. Project-based teaching in data structures and algorithms class emphasizes on student-centered, group cooperative learning and self-learning. And it focuses on training professional technical ability and teamwork, communication skills, systems engineering analytical skills and self- improvement ability. So to change the design of the practical coursework and adopt the project-based teaching approach, is a good idea to achieve that.

Work productively as a team member. 

PROPOSED METHODOLOGY BLENDED LEARNING CONCEPT With the development, application and popularization of computer technology and Internet, we have been in E-times. And E-learning education is one of those innovations. Essentially, it is about the transmission of learning content using information technology and often refers to delivery using Internet. It involves a learner using a variety of computer and networking technologies to access training materials. With new technologies emerging, the E-learning system can’t adapt to new technology. Knowledge management, interpersonal communication, and other soft technologies are to be further developed. And thus comes blended learning. Blended learning is an education model that contains different types of learning strategies. As Mortera-Gutierrez outlines that blended learning has been defined in different ways in literature but in general, it is the combination of multiple approaches to learning, combining several different delivery methods, such as collaboration software, web-based courses or computer communication practices and traditional face-toface instructions. In contrast to teacher-centered, rote-learning approaches, blended learning environments provide multiple ways to access content and to demonstrate mastery. As a result, they lend themselves more readily to differentiation of content and process. Today, blended learning is a rapidly growing education model at the nexus of education and technology.

Figure 2


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications. to prepare questions and assignments which need to be solved by each respective group as their mid-tern examination. This will make sure that the students are thorough with each concept used.

MORDEN DAY PROJECT BASED LEARNING The teaching mechanism can be moulded into such a way that the classroom knowledge is decreased to such a point that students need to study the subject on their own so as to retrieve knowledge. This will however result in the less class time for the teachers as well. So as to keep the teachers engaged, the students can approach them whenever they are free to discuss the doubts encountered while self-study. The focus of this approach is that the students will be studying in groups assigned to them. This way there won’t be a problem to them such that they are not able to tackle a particular topic or what not. This intern will give them a platform to assess the topics in such a way that it can be implemented in their respective projects in the near future. This decreases the workload of the teachers to a great extent. This time can be utilised by the teachers to prepare monthly reviews and questionnaires so as to test the capability of each student of the group so that particular roles can be assigned to each one of them related to the preparation of the project. This feature would not only help the teachers to review how much contribution has been made by the student to the project but also make the students feel the sense of responsibility and make sure that they are gaining knowledge and just not mugging up the matter. The major drawback of the project based learning is that when the students do a project in group, there is no way to assess the contribution of each of the student by the teacher, thus making the evaluation procedure for the teacher difficult. This can however be overthrown by including the feature of making the project over the git repository such that every member of the group can see the flow of the project and the code which is being uploaded and each can make desired changes to the code in such a way that their contribution gets reflected is statistical way, thereby keeping transparency not only between the other members but also with the teacher. These can be realised by the picture attached below.

EVALUTION PROCEDURE Unlike the evaluation procedure that is taken into account while evaluating class based learning, the procedure for evaluating the Project Based Learning is not that simple and may vary.

WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS Traditional written examinations can be conducted either as closed-book or open-book examinations. Questions should be designed to ensure transference of skills to similar problems or subject.

PRACTICAL EXAMINATIONS These examinations are used to ensure that students are able to apply skills learned during the course.

CONCEPT MAPS Much of learning that goes on during problem-based learning is more than just a compilation of facts. As such, written examinations may not be an adequate measure of student growth. Requiring students to generate concept maps, in which they depict their knowledge through the creation of identified node and links, may present another option to determining their cognitive growth.

PEER ASSESSMENT Because life outside the classroom usually requires working with others, peer assessment is a viable option to measure student growth. Providing students with an evaluation rubric often helps guide the peer evaluation process. This process also emphasizes the cooperative nature of the PBL environment.

SELF ASSESSMENT An important element of problem-based learning is to help students identify gaps in their knowledge base in order for more meaningful learning to result. Self assessment allows students to think more carefully about what they know, what they do not know, and what they need to know to accomplish certain tasks. Figure 3 FACILITATORS/TUTOR ASSESSMENT The feedback provided by tutors should encourage the students to explore different ideas. It is important that facilitators not dominate the group, facilitate learning and exploration. Tutor assessment may consist of how successful individuals interacted with their group and their cognitive growth.

Once the groups have been formed, when the groups start working on their respective projects, they need to give their monthly reviews by the end of each month. This will keep track of continuous work and not last moment. The teachers have got one last work to do. Based on the projects, they need


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications. present data and state conclusions without describing the link between the two, and they often did not use all of their data in drawing conclusions.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS Because so much of work life revolves around presenting ideas and results to peers, oral presentations in problem-based learning provide students an opportunity to practice their communication skills. Presenting findings to their group, the class, or even a real-life audience can help strengthen these skills.

CHALLENGES ENCOUUNTERED BY TEACHERS It should be noted that the study involved teachers' attempts to learn and implement an established PBL curriculum, complete with project descriptions, directions for activities, and instructional materials. This implementation situation may be qualitatively different from one in which a teacher decides to plan, develop, and implement a PBL activity on his/her own. Challenges grew out of difficulties teachers had in accepting the ideas that (a) effective collaboration among students requires more than involvement, it requires exchanging ideas and negotiating meaning; (b) effective use of technology requires that technology be used as a cognitive tool, not merely as an instructional aid; and (c) effective Project-Based Science requires not that all the concepts and facts of the curriculum are covered, but that students construct their own understanding by pursuing a driving question.

REPORTS Written communication is another skill important for students. Requiring written reports allows students to practice this form of communication.

 Samples of student work in various media forms provide a tool to show achievement and growth. This is a valuable way to collect and showcase authentic evidence of learning.

CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH ENACTING PBL Implementation research consists of studies designed to describe and inform the processes of planning and enactment of Project-Based Learning. Typically, implementation research involves observation, questionnaires, and interviews intended to identify difficulties encountered by participants with different aspects of the planning or enactment process. Implementation research is also referred to as formative evaluation and can be focused on a variety of participants (e. g., teachers, students, administrators, parents), factors (e. g., classroom factors, external factors, supports), and contexts (e. g., planning, working with others, enacting, troubleshooting, assessing).

Time. Projects often take longer than anticipated. In addition, difficulties that teachers experience in incorporating ProjectBased Science into district guidelines are exacerbated by the time necessary to implement in-depth approaches such as Project-Based Learning. Classroom management. In order for students to work productively, teachers must balance the need to allow students to work on their own with the need to maintain order. Control. Teachers often feel the need to control the flow of information while at the same time believing that students' understanding requires that they build their own understanding.

CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY STUDENTS. Students can difficulty (a) generating meaningful scientific questions, (b) managing complexity and time, (c) transforming data, (d) developing a logical argument to support claims, (e) students often failed to participate or participated in a disengaged manner, (f) students were sometimes not able to access the technology necessary to conduct the investigation, (g) students often lacked background knowledge necessary to make sense of the inquiry, and (h) students were often unable to manage extended inquiry activities.

Support of student learning. Teachers have difficulty scaffolding students' activities, sometimes giving them too much independence or too little modelling and feedback. Technology use. Teachers have difficulty incorporating technology into the classroom, especially as a cognitive tool. Assessment. Teachers have difficulty designing assessments that require students to demonstrate their understanding. 

More specifically, students tended to pursue questions without examining the merits of the question, they tended to pursue questions that were based on personal preference rather than questions that were warranted by the scientific content of the project, they had difficulty understanding the concept of controlled environments, they created research designs that were inadequate given their research questions, they developed incomplete plans for data collection, they often failed to carry out their plans systematically, they tended to

ADVANTAGES For students, benefits of project-based learning include:  Increased attendance, growth in self-reliance, and improved attitudes toward learning (Thomas, 2000)  Academic gains equal to or better than those generated by other models, with students involved in projects taking greater responsibility for their own


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications.

 

learning than during more traditional classroom activities (Boaler, 1997; SRI, 2000 ) Opportunities to develop complex skills, such as higher-order thinking, problemsolving, collaborating, and communicating (SRI, 2000) Access to a broader range of learning opportunities in the classroom, providing a strategy for engaging culturally diverse learners (Railsback, 2002)

For many students, the appeal of this learning style comes from the authenticity of the experience. Students take on the role and behaviour of those working in a particular discipline. Whether they are making a documentary video about an environmental concern, designing a travel brochure to highlight sites of historical significance in their community, or developing a multimedia presentation about the pros and cons of building a shopping mall, students are engaged in realworld activities that have significance beyond the classroom. For teachers, additional benefits include enhanced professionalism and collaboration among colleagues, and opportunities to build relationships with students (Thomas, 2000). Additionally, many teachers are pleased to find a model that accommodates diverse learners by introducing a wider range of learning opportunities into the classroom. Teachers find that students who benefit the most from projectbased learning tend to be those for whom traditional instructional methods and approaches are not effective (SRI, 2000).

Figure 4 Index A: the number of award winning students having vocational skills Index B: the number of excellent grade student in graduate design
 Index C: the first employment rate/%
 Index D: the employment rate consisting with professional/%

EXPERIMENTATION Analysis of Applied Results on Project-Based Learning The below mentioned experiment was done in Normal University, Beijing, China. We selected two freshman class from software technology major in Taizhou Vocational and Technical College as experimental subjects, the number of students in two classes was 38, and the same specialized curriculum system of combining study with work was used. In the curriculum teaching of combining study with work, one class, adopting the project-based learning that the paper designed, was named experimental class, and the other class, adopting traditional teaching, was named contrast class. After students finished the study of higher vocational education stage, we conducted contrast analysis of four indexes-- the number of awardwinning student in vocational skill competition, the number of excellent grade student in graduate design, the first employment rate and the employment rate consisting with professional, and the results are as shown in Figure 1.

By analysing the Graph, the conclusions can be drawn that the project-based learning method in this paper can stimulate students' learning enthusiasm, improve their vocational skills and comprehensive abilities, and is suitable for the teaching of study-work combinative courses of higher vocational education. In addition, the practice results also show that the project-based learning requires higher energy and abilities of teachers comparing with traditional teaching. Furthermore, experiments were carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the Project Based in data structures and algorithms course teaching. One thousand students are randomly selected from different classrooms. They are divided into two groups. We select tree, graph, and sorting algorithm as the experiment content. The teacher teaches the students of the first group with traditional teaching method in classroom. And the second group of other students study in blended learning. We test the two group students with the same paper. The scope of scores is shown as Table 1. According to Table 1, we can find the comparison chart in Figure 2. From the comparison of each group’s scores, we can see that the blended learning can achieve better results.


International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 8 (2016) pp 5920-5926 © Research India Publications. Table 1: The Scope of Score

First Group Second Group


0-59 point 104

60-69 point 276

70-79 point 224

80-89 point 326

90-100 point 50








[6] CONCLUSION The above statistics provide the ground to suggest that not only PBL method of teaching is a boon to present institutes and way of learning but also possess great promise for the future as well. Apart from this following conclusions can be drawn for PBL method of teaching:  There is evidence that PBL is relatively challenging to plan and enact. Keeping the limitations of this research in mind, it is probably fair to say that most teachers will find aspects of PBL planning, management, or assessment fairly challenging and will benefit from a supportive context for PBL administration.  There is some evidence that students have difficulties benefiting from self- directed situations, especially in complex projects. Chief among these difficulties are those associated with initiating inquiry, managing time, and using technology productively. The effectiveness of PBL as an instructional method may depend on the incorporation of a range of supports to help students learn how to learn.  There is direct and indirect evidence, both from students and teachers, that PBL is a more popular method of instruction than traditional methods. Additionally, students and teachers both believe that PBL is beneficial and effective as an instructional method.  PBL seems to be equivalent or slightly better than other models of instruction for producing gains in general academic achievement and for developing lower-level cognitive skills in traditional subject matter areas.  More important, there is some evidence that PBL, in comparison to other instructional methods, has value for enhancing the quality of students' learning in subject matter areas, leading to the tentative claim that learning higher-level cognitive skills via PBL is associated with increased capability on the part of students for applying those learnings in novel, problem-solving contexts.



Xiaojing Liu, Xiaoying Wang, Rui Wang. Application of Blended Learning in Data Structures and Algorithms Course Teaching, 2013. Markham, T. (2011). Project Based Learning.


Boss, S. & Krauss, J. (2007). Reinventing projectbased learning: Your field guide to real - world projects in the digital age. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education. Yanhua Ding. Research on application of projectbased learning [D]. Shanghai: East China Normal University, 2009. Ten tips for Assessing Project -Based LearningFrom Edutopia by The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Foulger, T. S. & Jimenez-Silva, M. (2007). Enhancing the writing development of english learners: Teacher perceptions of common technology in project-based learning. Journal of Research on Childhood Education, 22(2), 109-124.

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