Distributed Problem-Based Learning
Studies of a Pedagogical Model in Practice
By Ulric Bjorck
Goteborg Studies in Educational Sciences, No. 221
Almqvist & Wiksell
180 pages, 6 ¾” x 9 ½”
$72.50 Paper Original
Different teaching and learning strategies such as problem-based learning have been proposed for greater success with online learning in higher education. At the same time, the significance of social contexts and culture to students’ learning with new technologies has attracted growing attention. Based on a formative evaluation of online courses, this thesis focuses on actions originating in practice.
Four independent studies use research approaches developed from a theoretical position that highlights the cultural and social dimension of learning. The results of all the studies show the importance of the connection between the content of the courses and student’s professional practice. This combination creates a possibility to further develop their professional discourse.
As students prefer to discuss issues of their professional lives integrated with course interaction, a tighter connection between the university and the student’s professional practice has proved to be profitable. A general finding in all the studies is that levels of participation and interaction are higher when students discuss their own ideas or take part in making decisions about how to plan work. This indicates, supported in particular by the results of the fourth study, that the development of self is an issue that students will devote time to.
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