Interdisciplinary project-based learning: technology for improving student cognition

Natalia Stozhko, Boris Bortnik, Ludmila Mironova, Albina Tchernysheva, Ekaterina Podshivalova

Abstract

The article studies a way of enhancing student cognition by using interdisciplinary project-based learning (IPBL) in a higher education institution. IPBL is a creative pedagogic approach allowing students of one area of specialisation to develop projects for students with different academic profiles. The application of this approach in the Ural State University of Economics resulted in a computer-assisted learning system (CALS) designed by IT students. The CALS was used in an analytical chemistry course with students majoring in Commodities Management and Expertise (‘expert’ students). To test how effective the technology was, the control and experimental groups were formed. In the control group, learning was done with traditional methods. In the experimental group, it was reinforced by IPBL. A statistical analysis of the results, with an application of Pearson χ2 test, showed that the cognitive levels in both IT and ‘expert’ experimental groups improved as compared with the control groups. The findings demonstrated that IPBL can significantly enhance learning. It can be implemented in any institution of higher or secondary education that promotes learning, including the CALS development and its use for solving problems in different subject areas.

Keywords: higher education; learning technology; computer-assisted learning; cognitive level

(Published: 17 November 2015)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2015, 23: 27577 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.27577

Keywords

higher education; learning technology; computer-assisted learning; cognitive level

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