Project Turn the Titanic - PBL Bootcamp for Instructors & Students




22-27 JULY 2024

Turn the Titanic - Bootcamp - ASOCSA, SACPCMP & NRI

Following previous discussions and as a follow up to CES23 held in Johannesburg last year, you are invited as an instructor teaching in a construction higher education program at a university in South Africa to participate in a 6-day IBL/SBL/PBL Bootcamp to be held at the Edward Hotel in Durban from July 22-27.

There are very few, if any, instructors in construction programs at South African universities who have the knowledge and/or experience of ‘teaching’ using this constructivist student-centered and student driven pedagogy because they are typically schooled in and familiar with the positivist ‘sage on the stage’ lecturer-centered and driven approaches. There are consequently also very few if any students in these programs who have experienced being taught using this approach.

Therefore, the Project Turn the Titanic (PTTT) seeks to build capacity by providing a small cohort of instructors from universities, who have shown interest in making Small Shifts to adapting their instructional approaches, with the skills needed to navigate this alternative approach to current instructional approaches. This project seeks to critically assess and review learning as it is currently implemented in built environment education on at South African universities.

Since this project is funded in part by the NRF, we will throughout this process be gathering data on aspects such as, for example,

  • the relationships between the profiles of both students and instructors and the paradigm shift to the IBL/SBL/PBL pedagogy,
  • the level of resistance and strategies to overcome them,
  • development of appropriate Assessment metrics to measure effective learning as opposed to teaching,
  • development of indicators to measure the impact of the paradigm shift on levelling the playing fields in terms of academic performance and success of students,
  • development of indicators to measure the impacts of the iterative ‘propose, critique, reflect, propose’ cycle, effectiveness and impact of the use of ‘learning by doing’,
  • measuring the outcomes in terms of problem solving, communication, collaboration and related skills, to mention a few.

Given these realities this bootcamp aims to create the environment/platform to be able to, for example, collaboratively, change the way built environment higher education programs are delivered in terms of curriculum design, assessment, instructional strategies, student learning outcomes, and instructional space design.

As an instructor who during our several earlier discussions and conversations has expressed interest in implementing some form of IBL/SBL/PBL in a module/subject in your existing curriculums in 2025/6 you are specifically invited as a follow up to ‘Small Shifts’ that you committed to during CES23 and earlier, to this special training bootcamp. The bootcamp will be run by a team of experienced facilitators and instructors. You will be trained to use constructivist and active learning techniques in your classrooms including developing appropriate student learning outcomes (SLOs). The number of participants in the special instructor boot camp is limited to between 10 and 15 participants besides the team of facilitators.

Since we will gather data on your experiences and challenges during the bootcamp it is critical that you commit to participating in the entire 6-day program. We are committed to providing you with continued support beyond the bootcamp as you develop the module/subject that you intend to deliver in 2025/6.
The preliminary program which might change is expected to be as follows:

Day 1

  • Review of CES23 and its findings
  • What is constructivist IBL/PBL/SBL?
  • What is different from traditional teaching?
  • What is the role of the instructor?
  • What is the role of the student?
  • What does an appropriate problem look like?
  • How do we achieve SLOs through constructivist IBL/PBL/SBL?
  • How do we measure student learning and success?

Day 2

  • Developing an appropriate problem with SLOs
  • Examples of active learning techniques
  • Teamwork, collaboration and making work public
  • Where to find resources?
  • What to do?
  • What not to do?

Day 3

  • Delivering the problem designed in a IBL/PBL/SBL setting to peers
  • Evaluate and review the problem and delivery strategies
  • Lessons learnt

Day 4-6

Training of students and testing of the skills acquired by instructors

  • Delivering the problem in a IBL/PBL/SBL setting to groups of students
  • Developing scaffolding to improve learning outcomes
  • Evaluate and review the problem and delivery strategies
  • Lessons learnt
  • The way forward

You are also requested to provide the names and details of no more than three students from your institution whom you teach to participate in days 4-6 of the bootcamp, namely July 25-27.

The costs of travel and accommodation of both instructors and students will be covered by PTTT.
Since the number of participants is limited, will you as at your earliest convenience advise Ferial at or 082 686 1852 of your intention to participate in the bootcamp together with the details of any students if any?

Should you need more information or are uncertain about any aspect of the bootcamp please contact Prof Claudia Loggia on or Prof Theo Haupt at