Effectiveness of PBL-STEM Module in Physics on Students' Interest: A Preliminary Finding of Implementation Amongst Students in Rural Areas of Sabah, Malaysia

Siti Nazirah Butai; Huzaikha Awang; Iziana Hani Ismail; Elnetthra Folly Eldy.

Transactions on Science and Technology, 8(3-2), 380 - 387.

Back to main issue

Due to declining number of students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education (STEM) subjects, the Ministry of Education has introduced STEM packages option for Form 4 students starting January 2020. Nevertheless, it is important to cultivate the learning interest towards STEM subjects starting from the lower form. In this study, an integrated problem-based learning Biology module called BOTANIstNJA was implemented to Form 1 and 2 of a secondary school in a rural area to gauge their interest in learning STEM subject. Total of 79 students participated in this case study related to plants, simple plant specimen activity and early career exposure as a Botanist. Three perspectives: teaching, learning, and communications skills were evaluated through questionnaires and analysed by means of frequency distribution. All students expressed “strongly agree” at 78.5%, 57.0%, and 51.9%, respectively. This result suggests the effectiveness of the integrated problem-based learning module to stimulate students’ interest and shall be continued to encourage them in taking the STEM package.

KEYWORDS: Problem-based learning (PBL); STEM; physics; high school students; lower secondary school students in Sabah.

Download this PDF file

  1. Argaw, A., Haile, B., Ayalew, B. & Kuma, S. 2017. The effect of problem based learning (PBL) instruction on students' motivation and problem solving skills of physics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 13(3), 857-871.
  2. Becerra-Labra, C., Gras-Martí, A. & Martínez Torregrosa, J. 2013. Effects of a problem-based structure of physics contents on conceptual learning and the ability to solve problems. International Journal of Science Education, 34(8), 1235–1253.
  3. Djajadi, M. & Rauf, A. 2020. Learning physics of motion and force using the outdoor activities: An effort to increase students' interest and achievement at secondary school. Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia, 9(2), 208–218.
  4. Eldy, E. F. & Sulaiman, F. 2019. PBL online learning in thermodynamics and statistical physics: Students' readiness. International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology, 8(6 Special Issue 3), 355–359.
  5. Eldy, E. F., Wui, J. C., Butai, S. N., Basri, N. F., Awang, H., Din, W. A. & Arshad, S. E. 2019. Inverted classroom improves pre-university students understanding on basic topic of physics: The preliminary study. Journal of Technology and Science Education, 9(3), 420-427.
  6. Ibrahim, S. 2019. Jumlah Pelajar Mengambil Sains, Teknologi, Kejuruteraan dan Matematik (STEM) Semakin Merosot. (https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/pendidikan/2019/03/540193/jumlah-pelajar-mengambil-stem-kian-merosot). Last accessed on 2 November 2020.
  7. Jatmiko, B., Prahani, B. K., Munasir, Supardi, Z. A. I., Wicaksono, I., Erlina, N., Pandiangan, P., Althaf, R. & Zainuddin. (2018). The comparison of oripa teaching model and problem based learning model effectiveness to improve critical thinking skills of pre-service physics teachers. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 17(2), 300–319.
  8. Meyer, J. & Eley, M. 2006. The approaches to teaching inventory: a critique of its development and applicability. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(3), 633-649.
  9. Ministry of Education Malaysia. 2018. Quick Facts 2018: Malaysia Educational Statistics. Putrajaya: Educational Data Sector.
  10. Ministry of Education Malaysia. 2019. Quick Facts 2019: Malaysia Educational Statistics. Putrajaya: Educational Data Sector.
  11. Mulhall, P. & Gunstone, R. 2012. Views about learning physics held by physics teachers with differing approaches to teaching physics. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23(5), 429-449.
  12. Noble, E., Ferris, K. A., LaForce, M. & Zuo, H. 2020. A mixed-methods approach to understanding PBL experiences in inclusive stem high schools. European Journal of STEM Education, 5(1), 02.
  13. Phang, F., Abu, M., Ali, M. & Salleh, S. 2012. Faktor Penyumbang Kepada Kemerosostan Pelajar Dalam Aliran Sains: Satu Analisis Sorotan Tesis. Johor Bahru: Eprints UTM.
  14. Sahin, M. 2010. Effects of problem-based learning on university students' epistemological beliefs about physics and physics learning and conceptual understanding of Newtonian Mechanics. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19, 266-275.
  15. Sahin, M. 2010. The impact of problem-based learning on engineering students' beliefs about physics and conceptual understanding of energy and momentum. European Journal of Engineering Education, 35(5), 519-537.
  16. Saldo, I. J. P. & Walag, A. M. P. 2020. Utilizing problem-based and project-based learning in developing students' communication and collaboration skills in physics. American Journal of Educational Research, 8(5), 232–237.
  17. Tasoglu, A. K. & Bakac, M. 2014. The effect of problem based learning approach on conceptual understanding in teaching of Magnetism topics. Eurasian Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education, 6(2), 110-122.