Technology & Problem Based Learning Workshop, 8 Feb. 2011 @DPU, USM


Workshop on Technology & Problem-Based Learning 
Organised by: Special Business Unit 
School of Computer Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 

Date: 8 February 2011 (Tuesday) 
Venue: Dewan Persidangan Universiti (DPU), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm 
Presenter: Professor Dr. Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK)


“How can I get my students to think?” is a question often asked by lecturers, regardless of their discipline. The ability to think critically and reason about curricula content, plus the ability and motivation to learn independently throughout one's life is becoming increasingly important. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is any environment in which the problems drive the learning. According to Barrows (1992), the main goals of PBL are to develop students' thinking or reasoning skills and to help the students become independent, self-directed learners. 

If PBL is so good for learning, why isn't everyone doing it? Possibly fear of the unknown and lack of resources. Using PBL requires teachers to change their role from being the centre of attention and resource of all knowledge to being the coach and facilitator for the acquisition of that knowledge. The learning becomes student-centred, not teacher-centred.

This one day workshop introduces participants to PBL and the benefits thereof. Participants will also be taught how to prepare students for PBL and how problems can be designed. 

• USM lecturers from technology-based schools e.g. Physics, Maths, Technology Industry, Engineering, Pharmacy
• Lecturers from other public institutions of higher education in the Northern Region 
• Lecturers from private colleges in Penang 


Day 1:
- Traditional vs Constructivist Learning. 
- What is PBL? 
- Why PBL? 
- Importance of the role of tutor.
- Preparing students. 

Day 2: 
- Designing Problems or Triggers. 
- The tutorial process. 

Professor Dr. Lorna Uden is the co-author of the book, Technology and Problem Based Learning. She has being actively involved in research to promote learning. For the last 15 years, Prof. Uden has been using problem based learning to teach at her university. Feedbacks from students of the learning process are far beyond expectation. Prof. Uden has conducted problem based learning worldwide including countries such Australia, China, Finland, Slovenia, Malaysia and Taiwan. She is also the founder and editor of two international journals: the International Journal of learning Technology (IJLT) and the International Journal of Web Engineering (IJWET), both published by Inderscience. She has also been keynote speaker at several international conferences and visiting professor of many universities including Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan. 

Participants are requested to bring their own laptop/notebook for the workshop hands-on sessions. 

Registration Fees
RM 350.00 per participant (based on first pay, first served basis) 
Fees are inclusive of refreshments, lunch, workshop kit and certificate of attendance + book 

Workshop Registration 
To register, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following details: 
SUBJECT: Workshop on Technology & Problem-Based Learning 
1) Name of your participant/s and his/her designation 
2) Full institution name 
3) Full institution address 
4) Telephone/handphone number, fax number & email address 
5) Contact person (for billing purposes) 
Upon receiving of your email registration, we will reply back with a confirmation email & invoice. 

Mode of Payment:
Registration fees can be made using any one of the following methods: 
Cheque/Electronic Fund Transfer 
All cheques to be crossed and made payable to: Bendahari Universiti Sains Malaysia 

Mail to this address: 
Workshop Secretariat 
Special Business Unit,
Office of Industry & Community Network 
Level 5, School of Computer Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM Penang

Please pay to: 
Bank Muamalat 
Branch: Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang
Account Number: 07-02-0001054716 
Swift Code: BMMBMYKL
Please fax your Bank-in Slip to 04-6563244 (print your name & details on the slip)

Registration Terms:
Cancellation / Substitution: A full refund less administration fee of RM100.00 will be given for cancellation received not later than 7 working days prior to the workshop. No refund will be made after this period. However, substitute participants are welcomed at no extra charge provided written notice of at least 5 working days before the workshop is given to the organiser. 

For enquiries and further information, please contact: 
Workshop Secretariat 
Special Business Unit
Office of Industry & Community Network 
Level 5, School of Computer Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM Penang. 

Office: 04-6533925; Fax: 04-6563244
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Testimonials from Previous Participants 

Student A from Singapore, an IT Consultant says, "Confronted with limited information, I use the various problem-solving techniques taught in ISD to provide consultation for my clients." 

From student B and student C (both working as software engineers at National Computer Systems): "As software engineers, PBL has equipped us to be better team players ... to master new languages and software tools." 

Student D from Digital Equipment UK writes: "I personally found the ISD module extremely useful, particularly the principles of Problem-Based Learning, which I still use to tackle day-to-day research problems." 

Student E working for a Kuala Lumpur based telecommunications company wrote saying that she had to learn a lot of new technologies in this job and PBL helps her a lot in learning new applications as well as solving problems. She also reports that she is performing much better than colleagues who joined at the same time as her. 

Student F in KL said that he is using PBL to help him to accomplish his tasks and also that he learns faster than before.

Student G from Greece said of PBL, “PBL‟s major effect on me is that I am using it for all my modules. I am using it for all my final year assignments, and my final year project, and it is very useful to me. I believe that PBL is the most interesting, stimulating and enjoyable learning method.” 

Student H comments on PBL, “The advantages of using PBL are as follows: 
• PBL facilitates thinking 
• It makes people think of ways to solve problems. 
• It forces people to find out what are the areas of uncertainty and do a thorough research on unclear points, ideas or terms. 
• PBL makes us link our points into a logical view.” 

A final year student (2002) wrote, “PBL helps me a lot in my final year project and guides me to the correct ways to document my final year project. It also helps me in self learning and thinking critically. When I face any problem, I can use PBL to tackle the problem.” 

Another Student wrote, “The process of understanding the problem and learning to come up with the solution is the most beneficial part. The ability to think was what I thought I am able to do, but PBL helps me to think better and critically. I am more confident in solving big and complex problems, which makes me more confident of the future job I will be taking.” 

Extracts from a letter written to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. 
“I am a final year graduate student from Greece who is s studying Computer Science at Staffordshire University and I would like to express how useful PBL has been to me.” 
“ ….. During the PBL process I learned metacognitive skills: that is, learning to learn, and management skills. ….. Most important of all, I was able to use the skills learned from PBL in every other module on my course, and in my final year project.” 

An e-mail from a former student who is now working at the Deutsche Bank as the Vice president Autobahn Equity IT, UK 
Nice to hear from you again, just thought I would send a few comments regarding PBL from the ISD module studied during my final year project. I am still using it and have found it to be a useful skill, although I doubt I can recall everything, I have retained the core. It definitely enables me to think in a more structured way. Given that I now have at least 15/20 projects running concurrently, this is really invaluable. In the current climate there is a need to be effective immediately. 

I have recently started to get my team to adopt it, especially problem identification, its vital that they identify what they need to know (information) quickly, then find the necessary information and apply it in solving the problem, most importantly critically evaluating the solution. (Too many problems which were marked "done" in the past surfaced again!) 

From a purely academic standpoint, returning to complete my MBCS CEng documentation, I found that even after a 5 year gap PBL had enabled me to learn how to learn by myself, during university days these skills were very useful to me, especially for doing my assignments and final year project. Without the more structured approach of PBL (and some motivation from yourself ;-) I doubt I would have received a first class for my project. Wishing you every success. 

Kind Regards, 
Student K



A series of workshop conducted by Prof Lorna Uden from Staffordshire University was successfully held on 8th, 9th and 10th of February 2011 at Dewan Persidangan Universiti (DPU). 

The first day of the workshop introduced and exposed the participants to the importance of problem based learning in education. The speaker also discussed about how the technology and problem based learning can facilitate the educators to deliver the learning in more efficient way especially in the classroom. All participants were also taught on how to prepare their students for PBL and type of problems that were suitable to be embedded in PBL learning environment. The day one workshop was attended by academicians from USM and also other public and private institutions. 

Report by:
Nur Shakirah Ab. Rahman

Among the academic participants at the workshop

Among the academic participants at the workshop


Taklimat Haluan Siswa Lestari

: Taklimat Haluan Siswa Lestari

Taklimat Pendaftaran Kursus bagi pelajar-pelajar baru(prasiswazah) akan diadakan pada

Tarikh: 9 September 2011(Jumaat)
Masa: 3.00 ptg
Tempat: Dewan Kuliah G 31

Masa Acara
3:00 ptg Ketibaan Pelajar dan Para Pensyarah
3:10 ptg Menara Ilmu – Lagu USM
3:20 ptg Ucapan Selamat Datang
Pengenalan Struktur dan Staf Pusat Pengajian
Prof. Rosni Abdullah, Dekan, Pusat Pengajian Sains Komputer
3:50ptg Penerangan Struktur Program Sains Komputer dan Pengkhususan Panduan Pendaftaran Kursus dan Soal Jawab
Prof. Madya Nur’Aini Abdul Rashid, Timbalan Dekan (Akademik dan Pembangunan Pelajar), Pusat Pengajian Sains Komputer
4:40ptg Etika dan Peraturan
Dr. Mohd. Adib Haji Omar
5:00 ptg Minum Petang dan Aktiviti Penasihatan bersama Penasihat Akademik

Student, Academic Staff
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Team i-Future win the business plan contest SOI Asia 2011

Team i-Future win the business plan contest SOI Asia 2011. The prize trip to Japan (accomodation and airfare covered).


Team Name: i-Future

Team Advisor :

Name: Pn. Rosnah Idrus

Team Members :

Name: Chai Jian Wei

Name: Lee Ee Hun

Name: Khoo Han Ni

Name: Peter Lau Yi Zhong


The award presentation by AP Masaki Umejima from Keio University



MyTRIZ Conference & Workshop 2012, Penang

: 06-11-2012 09-11-2012
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: Universiti Sains Malaysia
: University
: Student
School of Computer Sciences, USM , Malaysia

MyTRIZ Conference & Workshop 2012, Penang