Problem Based Learning: Enhancing Constructivist Activities and Engagement by Fostering Online Knowledge Sharing

By Manish Malik.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Face to face higher education (HE) environments traditionally use didactic methods thus several of PBL implementations in HE institutions (HEIs) either use heavy scaffolding or are a hybrid of constructivist and didactical approaches [2], [4]-[10]. This work demonstrates the potential of the Social Web in realising a constructivist PBL similar to McMaster approach [1] despite the lack of resources and work practices common to HEIs. We show how students behaved in an online environment by capturing their usage statistics and analysing the data collected via polls and interviews. It was found that the overall engagement with the course material and tasks was improved by the use of social software. Not only that, the tool used helped students construct their answers gradually from partial to near complete by the end of term. Results from this pilot are compared with results from previous year's students. Here we find that the overall achievement of the cohort that used social web tools was greater than in the cohort where collaboration was marred by lack of physical resources.

Keywords: Problem Based Learning, McMaster Approach, Social Web, Collaborative, Constructivist, Sharing, Web 2.0, Resource Constrained

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.103-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.112MB).

Manish Malik

Senior Lecturer, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Manish Malik was born in New Delhi, India in 1976. He completed his BEng from Dr, BAM University, Aurangabad in Electronics and Telecommunications in 1999 with distinction and a rank in the university. He graduated with a MSc in Communications and Signal Processing from University of Bristol, UK in 2003. He is currently working toward a MA in Online and distance learning with the Open University, UK and has completed PgC in Teaching and Learning in HE from the University of Portsmouth, UK in 2004. He works in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Portsmouth as Senior Lecturer in Mobile Computing and wireless systems. He has recently developed a mobile based in class response system that has received some media attention. He is currently on part secondment with the ExPERT centre where he has won a research award to develop and evaluate the mobile based response system. His recent interests are in the field of blended learning and technology enhanced learning mainly using the Social Web or Web 2.0 tools.


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