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Problem-Based Learning Strategy in E-learning Courses

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Problem-Based Learning Strategy in E-learning Courses

What is problem-based learning?

Problem-based learning is learner-centered learning theory, where the learner learns through the experience of solving a problem. It helps the learner to develop logical thinking and enhance domain knowledge. It is a form of active learning where the learner is encouraged to construct his or her knowledge by dealing with real-life situations to solve. This type of learning makes the learner to develop active problem-solving skills, acquire essential motivation, exchange ideas and at the same time collaborate with others in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.

The sense of collaboration helps learners to identify what they already know, what they need to know, and different ways and methods of arriving at the solution of the problem. To use this type of strategy, we first need to know the principles used for this strategy and its benefits. Here, in this blog, I will discuss a few important aspects of problem-based learning. 

Key Principles of Problem-Based Learning: 

Active learning:

Learners are free to control their own learning process, and are capable of finding answers to their questions. 

Integrated learning:

Integrated learning is when knowledge, understanding, and skills of the learner go hand in hand. Learning strategies focus on the problem and are linked to the real-world experience. 

Cumulative learning:

Knowledge is acquired gradually and in a progressive way such that the topic can be revisited and the depth of the knowledge increased. Over time, even when problems become more difficult and challenging to the learner, they help the learner to experience wholesome development.

Characteristics of Problem-Based Learning (PBL): 

Learner-centered and experimental: As I discussed earlier, this type of learning is of the learner-centered type and helps learners to learn and explore based on their requirements. The learner is responsible at every stage for what he learns. This type of learning helps to develop logical and problem-solving skills. Here in this type of learning, application is one of the motivators for a student to be more self-directed. 

Inductive: Researches have indicated that the learning is at a deeper level when the information or knowledge is introduced within a meaningful context. So in PBL, content is introduced through the process of problem solving, and not the other way round where problem solving comes after the presentation of content. 

Problems are complex and unclear, and require meta-cognition: In PBL, the problems are selected from real-life situations that may neither have simple nor similar answers. Since the perspective of each learner is varied, the answers may also differ in any way. So here learners need to examine their own problem-solving plans. He will require the ability to use high thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, and creation of new knowledge. 

Creates cognitive conflict: Adults love to explore and face challenges. Problems that are given as part of the learning exercises are very similar to real-life situations. Sometimes, while solving one problem, other new challenge may crop up. This makes learning more innovative and like an interesting journey.

Benefits of Problem-Based Learning: 

  • Learners have the freedom to examine the problem and find solutions on their own. It makes the process of learning enjoyable and challenging.
  • Problem-based type of learning encourages the acquisition of in-depth knowledge.
  • It develops a long-term learning skill, which helps learners use their skills in the future.

Finding a method that makes learning so innovative is really interesting to both the student and the designer. I am sure this blog will motivate you to make your learning processes interesting. Please do share your views on this.

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