Engaging students using problem-based learning in an online learning environment

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Engaging students using problem-based learning in an online learning environment. School of Education Postgraduate topic in Gifted Education EDUC9794 lesley.henderson@flinders.edu.au. Advantages Greater choice Flexibility – time, space Less travel Increased accessibility - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Engaging students using problem-based learning in an online learning environmentSchool of EducationPostgraduate topic in Gifted EducationEDUC9794

lesley.henderson@flinders.edu.auLearner view of external modeAdvantagesGreater choiceFlexibility time, spaceLess travelIncreased accessibilitySelf-paced, self-directed autonomy Multimedia

DisadvantagesIntimidating technologyCosts of technologyIsolating and lonelyMore self-discipline requiredPrior experience & learning preferencesNot all students like online experience want hard copy materials, independent study & flexible timetableNot all students have good internet access, or technical skillsMany postgraduate students study on weekends no FLO support

2Previously, this topic was only offered face-to-face as a holiday intensive.Decided to offer all 4 GEd topics each year, but alternate delivery mode 2 in internal intensive mode & 2 in distance modeTask then became how to translate each topic from face-to-face into distance delivery.

Designing an on-line topicTopic is about affective developmentImportance of social & emotional supports & problem of isolation in distance study establishing a community of learners via FLO Topic requires an understanding of diverse gifted studentsHow do you care about theoretical issues unless they have a human face real studentsKnowledge is important, but application of knowledge is more valuableAuthentic problem for the teacher is simulated in the PBL case study motivation to study

3Problem-Based LearningIntroduces a real-world problemNo clear/single answer fuzzy problemStudents use existing knowledge, share knowledge, set individual learning tasks to elaborate on knowledgeCollaboration & communicationApplies & develops higher order thinkingProfessional applicationStudents find PBL strongly motivatingPBL design processSet very clear learning objectivesSelect a problem develop a caseSeek advice authentic & relevantDevelop/identify resources for independent research (scaffolding learning)Determine evaluation/assessment

Looks linear but in actual fact is far more organic!Shifts the focus from preparing topic materials that are strongly focused on CONTENT of the discipline & assessing content knowledge to preparing a learning experience for students. They are the ones who are going to identify & develop their own learning tasks and select their own learning materials. Far more open-ended. Constructivist, inquiry-based approach.5PBL ObjectivesUnderstand issues relating to the social and emotional development of diverse gifted children and the behaviours that may be associated with these issues.

Understand the importance of developing classroom environments that are responsive to a diverse range of affective needs.

Consider what teachers can do in collaboration to address the social and emotional needs of gifted students in the regular classroom.

Experience the application of PBL as a strategy to engage students in collaborative problem-solving that reflects real-life learning. Start with very clear objectives6How can technology support PBL?Donnelly (2005:158)Providing exciting curricula based on real-world projects & problemsProviding scaffolds, tools & resources to enhance learningGiving both students & teachers more opportunities for feedback & reflectionExpanding opportunities for student learning through collaboration & discussionHow do I use FLO to try to create a sense of community?Clear communication re nature of topic & aims structure Personalise FLO space with photos pleasant environmentEncourage participation in FLO discussion Meet & Greet activityAllocate marks for participation in discussionProvide guidelines for interaction Code of the Community of Inquiry (Jewell et al 2011)Be present on FLO!

8As I am getting more familiar with the opportunities the FLO environment presents, I am refining the structure and presentation of the PBL experience.My beliefA problem-based learning case study provides an authentic online learning environment that helps postgraduate students self-direct and deepen their learning, and collaborate with others.

The incorporation of PBL strategy into an online learning environment provides the engaging, collaborative and learner-centred activities that are required to encourage a student to fully participate in the learning program (Gooding, 2002:2)Donnelly makes the point that using computer technologies does not guarantee effective learning, but what I have found is that the PBL has enhanced the online learning experience & increased motivation. Students have found it more engaging and therefore I believe it has led to more effective learning.9The Future?Virtual reality text-based triggers replaced by or supplemented with video?Video-conferenced presentationsLive chatsSynchronise discussions?BlogsOthers?

10ResourcesVideo of PBL at Flinders Uni at http://mtu.flinders.edu.au/events/pbl_adsl.cfmAdelaide University guide to using PBL at http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/2440/71220/1/hdl_71220.pdfHandbook of Enquiry & PBL at http://www.aishe.org/readings/2005-2/ Online chapter about using technology in PBL athttp://www.aishe.org/readings/2005-2/chapter16.pdf

ReferencesBrodie,L.(2005). Problem based learning in the online environment successfully using student diversity and e-education.Cheaney,J. & Ingebritsen, T. (2005). Problem based learning in an online course: A case study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 6, No 3.Donnelly, R. (2005). Using technology to support project and problem-based learning. In T. Barrett; I. MacLabhrainn, & H. Fallon (Eds). Galway: CELT. http://www.nuigalway.ie/celt/pblbook/ Gooding, K. (2002). Problem based learning online. In S. McNamara & E. Stacey (Eds.), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/2002/gooding.htmlJewell, P., Henderson, L., Webster, P., Dodd, J., Paterson, S., & McLaughlin, J. (2011). Teaching ethics: Care think and choose. Melbourne, Vic: Hawker Brownlow Education.