Implementing PBL Online as a Collaborative Learning Strategy for Teachers: The Cole

F. Desjardins and R. vanOostveen (Canada)


Collaborative learning; collaborative knowledge construction; human-computer-interaction; problem-based learning


To use a Problem-Based-Learning (PBL) approach in an online context requires a major paradigm shift as well as using tools that were not designed specifically for such a student-driven, process-centred pedagogical paradigm. This becomes a problem when online resources and systems are used for supporting in-service teacher in their pursuit of furthering their education. Although the current theories of learning and teaching may represent the content of such courses, the online strategies used often conflict with the theory. In an attempt to study the formal implementation of PBL as a social-constructivist pedagogical approach, into an online learning environment as a means to provide the tools for e-learning that would be closer in design to the current thinking on the very nature of learning, a prototype of a Collaborative Online Learning Environment (COLE) has been developed and is in the process of being tested with small groups. Preliminary results show that although many technical difficulties remain to be solved, using the environment does show evidence of some effect on beliefs about personal theories of learning.

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