Problem-Based Learning for Two-Year College Learners: An Examination of a Marketing Course Designed for Second-Year Students

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The authors in this study examine a marketing course centered on a problem-based project at a two-year institution. Using “learning context” as a theoretical frame to guide study design and ultimately interpretation of findings, the authors use a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. Using both descriptive statistics, course materials, instructor field notes, student written and oral interviews, collected over a period of several years, the authors seek to answer the question of how the method worked within the context of the two-year institution. In so doing, they examine student attitudes toward the approach and illustrate strengths and weaknesses of the approach from the students,’ instructor’s, and “client’s” perspectives. Finally, the authors provide an overview of a plan for moving the approach from a problem-based project toward a more “pure” model of problem-based learning, highlighting the differences between the two approaches.


Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Learning Context, Two-Year Colleges
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Claire Major

Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration, The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Claire Major is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at The University of Alabama. Her research and teaching interests focus on faculty issues, including faculty change, faculty development, the integration of teaching and research, and identity in online environments. She has published her work with leading publishers in higher education and in top journals in the field, has presented her work internationally and nationally, has served as a consultant for several universities in the US, and had engaged in local efforts to improve teaching and learning at the college level.

Dr. Charles Major

Instructor, Business, Shelton State Community College
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Charles (Ted) Major is an Instructor at Shelton State Community College. He teaches courses on business law, introduction to business, and marketing. His research focuses on teaching in business and law, teaching in two-year institutions, and on law faculty use of blogging. He has presented his work nationally and locally.

Ref: L08P0131