Yaghi, A., & Alibeli, M. (2014). Solving Real Community Problems to Improve the Teaching of Public Affairs. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(1).
In order to achieve their course learning outcomes, public affairs instructors can train students to solve real community problems (SRCP). This approach focuses on the learners themselves and aims to transform the role of college professors from traditional teaching (lecturing) to facilitating and coaching students’ learning activities. This study aims at reporting the processes and findings of adopting SRCP in teaching public affairs courses in the United Arab Emirates. The study examines the impact of SRCP on achieving four learning outcomes. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bivariate Pearson correlation matrix reveal that six factors are significant in achieving the desired learning outcomes–namely, students’ having an interest in SRCP, students’ gender, students’ having experience with similar pedagogies, the role of the instructor, students’ in-advance preparation, and students’ level in college. These results and their implications for instructors and researchers are discussed.