eUreka: Web-based Tool for Collaborative Problem Solving and Project Work - Documentation of Knowledge Creation and Discovery
Tan, Daniel T. H.
Wong, Sheryl E.
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Building on the implementation of project work in Singapore schools at the K-12 level, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) explored an extension of eLearning that will move the original purpose of knowledge creation, discovery and transfer to an automated online system in which the learning experience of the students can be better managed. Project work has long been an established learning activity for university students. Its many forms include, notably, the final year project (or FYP) that is a major course component and key highlight in the undergraduate program. Other varied forms include term or mini-projects, group project work. eUreka is an institutional web-based management system for project work and knowledge management. It facilitates knowledge creation and provides for learning via experiential knowledge derivation and sharing of institutional knowledge assets. It enables self and world discovery and group synergistic experience beyond the boundaries of physical classrooms and laboratories. At NTU, usage of eUreka has extended to group-based case studies, problem based learning at the under-graduate level, and to the mentoring/supervision of under-graduate and post-graduate projects. It is being explored to support collaborative work or project component in continuing education and professional courses Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to ‘learn to learn’. In project work, students are required to contribute as a team member in seeking solutions to real-world problems. In problem-solving situations (applicable to project work as well), students assume increasing responsibility for their learning while the instructor takes on the role of modeling different kinds of problem-solving strategies. PBL thus fosters active learning, supports knowledge construction and integrates learning with real-life situations. Relating to the context of continuing education, eUreka offers the user an online tool with learning design consideration that incorporates the use of information and communication technology to provide a platform for project planning and scheduling, documentation of resources and findings, collaborative work and reflections on the work flow process of the project work duration. It also offers a centralized platform to manage the internal quality processes of invention and innovation in the future. eUreka is available for use in other educational institutions.