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This chapter reports on the evaluation and subsequent re-design of an e-learning module that utilised a problem-based pedagogy. The module was a component of a Postgraduate Diploma in Third Level Learning and Teaching for lecturers from a range of higher education institutions in the Republic of Ireland. The online delivery took the form of using a range of electronic resources and online asynchronous and synchronous discussion to solve a problem-based learning scenario. In designing the original module I had envisaged that the key to the module participants’ success would be to collaborate online and share valuable information with colleagues from a variety of other disciplines. However, on undertaking an evaluation after three years I realised that a conflict existed between the individual’s right to learn online, using the online learning environment (WebCT) in their own time and at their own pace and the obvious benefits of interacting online with peers in a problem-based learning group. The actual learning situation entailed interpersonal complexities and subjective depths of meaning that challenged my assumptions about how problem-based learning would happen online. From an analysis and interpretation of the evaluations of this module I gained a better understanding of the problem-based learning group process in an online environment.
Donnelly, R. (2004) Investigating the Effectiveness of Teaching 'Online Learning' in a Problem-based Learning Online Environment. In Savin-Baden, M. & Wilkie, K. (Eds.) Challenging Research into Problum-Based Learning(pp.50-64) Buckingham: Open University Press.