2. Problem-Based Learning Within A 3D Simulation Environment
Problem-based learning is an approach to learning that is situated in problem-solving experience and consistent with experiential-based learning (Hmelo-Silver, 2004). Two fundamental postulates drive problem-based learning; that learning through problem solving is more effective in the creation of bodies of knowledge usable in the future, and that problem-solving skills are more important than memory skills (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980). Problem-based learning uses problems as the stimulus and focus for student activity and differs from other instructional methods in that it begins with problems rather than with the exposition of disciplinary knowledge (Boud & Feletti, 1997). Problem-solving forms the primary process through which learning takes place. This is influenced by both factors internal to the problem solver, in terms of their existing knowledge, skills, and experience, and external in terms of the variable characteristics and representation of the problem (Jonassen, 2000; Lee, 2004; Newell & Simon, 1972; Smith, 1988; Zhang, 1991).