Research Output
Constructive scaffolding for accessible PBL.
  We reflect on the success of embedding legal, social, ethical and professional issues (LSEPI) into computing courses while at the same time encouraging a "growth mindset" in our students. We review the only compulsory course for our first year computing undergraduates, with a broad range of technical ability, impairment and educational background. We chose problem-based learning (PBL) as a natural fit with contextual demands but also paid special attention to the scaffolding required to make PBL effective with novice learners. Our main PBL element is a final "capstone" activity, in which small multidisciplinary teams of students who have not worked together before, design and deliver a Web-based game inside a week, using techniques and technologies seen during the preceding 12 weeks. This paper describes the approaches taken to practical and tutorial learning events and evaluates the results of the PBL phase. The main contributions of this paper are a) the identification of PBL as a vehicle for delivering generic graduate attributes (GGA), b) the use of PBL with novice learners, and c) the use of situated meta-critique as a constructivist trigger for developing self-reflection.

  • Date:

    31 December 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education


Davison, B., & McEwan, T. (2012). Constructive scaffolding for accessible PBL.



Problem-based learning; HCI; growth mindset; firstyear computing undergraduates; situated meta-critique;

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