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Teaching queueing theory with an inquiry-based learning approach: A case for applying webquest in a course in simulation and statistical analysis

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1 Author(s)
Yuen-Yan Chan ; Department of Information Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., China

This paper presents a case on applying WebQuest, a model for constructivist inquiry-based learning, to facilitate the teaching and learning of queueing theory. The author is a faculty member in an information engineering department, teaching an undergraduate course titled Simulation and Statistical Analysis in which queueing theory is a key topic. In this paper, the author shares her experience of adopting WebQuest as a pedagogical tool. Overviews of constructivist pedagogies related to WebQuest, namely inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and scaffolding, are also provided. Instead of teaching the classic topic in an instructor- centered, direct instruction approach, the author constructed a WebQuest to help the students to design and conduct simulation projects to answer several nontrivial questions related to queueing theory. Scaffolding aids such as detailed descriptions of procedures and useful links to web resources, as well as an evaluation rubric, were also included in the WebQuest. This paper also includes results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of adopting WebQuest to motivate students' learning. Students' interview comments and the author's own reflection are also given.

Published in:

2007 37th Annual Frontiers In Education Conference - Global Engineering: Knowledge Without Borders, Opportunities Without Passports

Date of Conference:

10-13 Oct. 2007