The Nature of Complex Blends: Transformative Problem-Based Learning and Technology in Irish Higher Education

Roisin Donnelly (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 22
EISBN13: 9781616921309|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-880-2.ch001
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This chapter discusses the complexities of blending technologies and problem-based learning (PBL) group interaction within the context of academic development in higher education. For both designers and tutors, it is important to seek best practices for combining instructional strategies in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments that take advantage of the strengths of each and avoid inherent weaknesses. A qualitative case study of the lived experiences of 17 academic staff participants in a blended PBL module over a two year period was considered likely to provide a much-needed analysis of current thinking and practice on the potential of interaction in this form of higher education professional academic development. Specific aspects of interaction (technical, peer, content, and the learning experience) within blended PBL tutorials are analysed to provide research-based evidence on the realities of delivering a PBL programme using technology. The study reported in the chapter argues that the intersection of PBL and learning technologies can offer an innovative way of teaching and learning and is a reflection of pedagogy and technology as an integrated model that can work effectively together. The findings show that the synergy from the collaborative blended PBL approach in this module can result in the coherent and comprehensive provision of training, support, and research throughout higher education institutions.
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