Problem Based Learning in E-learning

Problem Based Learning in E-learning

Problem Based Learning in E-learning

“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it,” – Albert Einstein

Problem based learning, is the learning process where the learners learn by solving a problem. For example, in a classroom setting, a trainer takes a problem that is relevant to the learning context and is purposely complex and intriguing enough to capture the attention of the learners. Learners, with their existing knowledge, try to define the problem and solve it. During this process instructors monitor, guide and facilitate the process.

In self-paced learning, such problem based learning approach might not be mirrored, but can create such sort of curiosity, engagement and interest in learners through:-

Case Studies

Case studies are a form of problem-based learning. The idea of using case study, as an effective teaching method, originated in Harvard Business School. Edwin Gay, first Dean of HBS, called it the “problem method” and saw its value in creating leaders (Source, HBS). It is commonly used in traditional education, be it in a medical school or a law school, where we find extensive use of case studies.

In e-Learning course, case studies come handy, when it comes to understanding a specific skill or concept. It makes the learner think, critically analyze the information presented and then, he takes decision a leading to a possible solution, or recommendation.


In the eLearning course, a scenario can be created, where the learner is given a situation and a problem is posed to him.

Then, the information that is required is presented, as a process of solving the problem. For example, let us take one of our eLearning courses that we have developed for training HR professionals on the recruitment process.

Scenario Based eLearning

We created a situation where Bob, the HR manager, faces certain problems while recruiting the new employees.

Scenario Based eLearning

Then the content, which the learner has to learn, is presented as a process of solving those problems. Here we used an avatar as an instructor, who guides John all through the process.

Such sort of problem based learning approaches are effective in training your employees, especially on compliance, anti-bribery, safety and other related courses. What’s your opinion on this approach? Do share your thoughts!

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