PBL in ESP
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

PBL in ESP

on

  • 156 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
156
Views on SlideShare
97
Embed Views
59

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0

1 Embed 59

http://noramizah16.blogspot.com 59

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

PBL in ESP PBL in ESP Document Transcript

  • Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Nurse Education in Practice journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/nepr Using problem-based learning in web-based components of nurse education Tonia R. Crawford* Faculty of Nursing and Health, Avondale College, 185 Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga, NSW 2076, Australia a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t Article history: Accepted 17 October 2010 Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centred method of teaching, and is initiated by introducing a clinical problem through which learning is fostered by active inquisition (Tavakol and Reicherter, 2003). Using this teaching and learning strategy for web-based environments is examined from the literature for potential implementation in a Bachelor of Nursing program. In view of the evidence, students accessing online nursing subjects would seem to benefit from webbased PBL as it provides flexibility, opportunities for discussion and co-participation, encourages student autonomy, and allows construction of meaning as the problems mirror the real world. PBL also promotes critical thinking and transfer of theory to practice. It is recommended that some components of practicebased subjects such as Clinical Practice or Community Health Nursing, could be implemented online using a PBL format, which should also include a discussion forum to enable group work for problemsolving activities, and tutor facilitation. Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Problem-based learning Online education E-learning Web-based nurse education Introduction As technology has evolved, web-based learning has gained popularity with students, and increasingly, higher education institutions have recognized the benefits of utilizing this technology as a strategy to enhance student recruitment and retention (Parker et al., 2005); to remain relevant, convenient, flexible and accessible (Care and Scanlan, 2000); and to promote autonomous lifelong learners (Howatson-Jones, 2004). According to O’Neil and Fisher (2008), the changing profile of nursing students and demands of the healthcare environment have prompted schools of nursing to deliver or support education using information technology. Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centred method of teaching, and is initiated by a clinical problem aimed to foster learning through active inquisition, and to encourage students to take the major responsibility for their own learning (Tavakol and Reicherter, 2003). Web-based PBL can develop self-directed learning and problem-solving skills using real life problems, while addressing some of the time, travel and access constraints for students. Consequently web-based PBL is of particular interest for the development of online interaction/communication in an Australian Bachelor of Nursing (BN) program as the course is operated over two campuses and students can attend from a wide geographical area. While there has been much written on the * Tel.: þ61 2 9487 9608; fax: þ61 2 9487 9625. E-mail address: tonia.Crawford@avondale.edu.au. 1471-5953/$ e see front matter Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2010.10.010 strengths and limitations of PBL, this paper will describe web-based learning and PBL before reviewing the literature on web-based PBL for nurse education. Web-based learning Online education is seen to create access to learning (Pawan, 2003) as it is independent of geographic and temporal boundaries, and increases learner control allowing for greater flexibility and autonomy. It also provides ready access to resources, allowing for interaction and communication with other students and educators via email and synchronous or asynchronous discussion forums (Prows et al., 2004). Synchronous methods include discussions, virtual classrooms or video-conferencing where interactions occur in real time and need to be pre-planned. Asynchronous activities such as use of websites, problem-solving scenarios, and online discussions are self-directed and allow for greater choice of process, pace and location (Larsen et al., cited in Howatson-Jones, 2004). Increased demand for distance education has prompted nursing faculties to implement information and technological approaches to provide education opportunities that cater for the diversity of learners needs (Udod and Care, 2002). Problem-based learning PBL was introduced in the 1970s in health profession curricula at McMaster University in Canada, and has been used in various graduate and undergraduate settings such as engineering, business,
  • Table 1 Review of primary research on web-based PBL. Description Edwards et al., 1999 Canadian study used pre and post-course questionnaires to compare learning satisfaction between nursing students who attended the PBL course faceto-face (control group), and those who received the course via teleconferencing Oliver and Omari, 1999 Australian study in which online PBL was employed with a group of on-campus undergraduate students to explore the practical issues and responses of the learners Cooke and Moyle, 2002 Australian study of 100 student evaluations of PBL (face-to-face) in an undergraduate-nursing degree Results  A small percentage of students finding the adjustment to PBL difficult  The item receiving the highest satisfaction rating was ‘group functioning as a PBL team’, with similar satisfaction ratings for the course between face-to-face and distance students.  Tutor feedback to distance students is inherently more difficult than in face-to-face situations  Found PBL cognitively demanding, which tended to lessen enthusiasm for participation  Web-based PBL strategies provide considerable scope for developing information literacy, metacognition and selfregulating skills, important for lifelong learning  Problem-based activities contributed substantially to learning, and that the environment was enjoyable and stimulating  Using collaborative groups in the problem-solving process allowed students to choose the extent to which they participated, with large discrepancies in effort among students  Students valued the input of the teacher  PBL strategies encouraged students to take control of their own learning by promoting involvement, self-direction and identification of learning needs.  PBL promoted critical thinking skills, as they were able to problem-solve in situations that replicated clinical situations in nursing practice  They were expected to synthesize various aspects of knowledge, make clinical decisions based on their learning, and provide rationales for their clinical reasoning  The teacher’s role in PBL was more interactive and responsive, and helped them to develop critical thinking skills by questioning and challenging students  PBL assisted the theory to practice transfer as students reported that their learning was purposeful and relevant to their practice as future nurses  Group contribution and participation was rewarding, discussions creative, and students learnt effective group-processing skills Limitations Reason for inclusion Only 9 of the 30 students were from distant sites with the distance students together physically as a group, with the facilitator at a distant location, rather than each individual being linked via electronic means Conclusions add to the evidence of other studies Only 57 participants The authors did not identify what the undergraduate degree program was Action research was carried out with data gathered at several stages consequently the results could change over time Despite not being a nursing study, and participants being on-campus, the conclusions are useful in informing decision-making about designing online PBL On-campus, PBL was not online, with the study extending over a 4-week period. No discussion regarding measures taken to ensure trustworthiness of the data. Higher number of respondents gives results that are more indicative of students generally, and provides useful information that nurse educators can use in designing innovative teaching programs T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 Authors (continued on next page) 125
  • 126 Table 1 (continued ) Description Dennis, 2003 A comparison between online versus face-to-face group learning. Post-test only control group to investigate the effects of earning conditions on learning outcomes and processes in a US physical therapy program. Valaitis et al., 2005 Canadian study of 22 nursing students’ perceptions of PBL over a 4e6 week period McLinden et al., 2006 Phase 2 of a pilot study concerned with the development and evaluation of online resources using PBL for use with postgraduate teachers. Results  Computer-mediated communication in PBL resulted in significantly longer time-on-task as face-to-face groups, and that technological problems played a role in the percentage of off-task time for online PBL students. Despite this, there was no difference in learning outcomes between the two groups  The use of a chat room for PBL tutorials proved to be as effective for learning as face-to-face formats, but that the process was less efficient  Recommended cautious implementation of online PBL due to greater time needed for similar outcomes  Online learning increased flexibility, by allowing students to learn at their own pace, and in a manner that suited their learning style, time and location  Students valued taking a more active role with the PBL format  Used a ‘real’ client to promote authentic learning  Web-based PBL offers opportunities for interdisciplinary learning through online communication  Students initially had difficulty setting learning objectives, and group decisionmaking was difficult  Asynchronous discussion threads confusing for some students to follow  Preliminary communications were monologues rather than discussions as students were reluctant to reply critically to peer’s messages  Students clearly valued tutor guidance, wanting direction with teacher expectations, and guidelines for online contributions  High degree of apprehension among students at the start of the program (76%), with initial hesitation about participating in online group work  Fast pace of synchronous chat rooms intimidating despite having completed induction activities  Asynchronous discussions enabled students to take time to think about their responses  Almost two-thirds of participants reported technical difficulties in access the program during the first scenario, having to contact technical support for guidance (40%)  Use of technology must be informed by sound pedagogical principles, and structured support must be provided during the early stages of the program to maximize learner engagement Limitations Reason for inclusion Study size was small (17 in each group) Not a nursing program The online component minor as the study was conducted using two scenarios/problems with face-to-face laboratory session. Study used a medical/surgical component of an allied health program, and investigated PBL in an online format. Cohort is small and extends over a short period of time, using students who are actually onampus, who met face to face in concurrent PBL classes The results and recommendations for carefully planned training sessions for tutors and students, and a period of adaptation to online PBL are a useful guide. A number of techniques used to increase the trustworthiness of the findings. Small cohort of non-nursing participants with some face-to-face components e.g. residential school Majority of the course was online, as compared to studies where the online component was a very small part of the course. These results could therefore be more generalizable, and used to inform the development of online components of a nursing program. T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 Authors
  • T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 educational psychology and administration and K-12 education with extensive support from literature (Hmelo-Silver, 2004; Williams and Beattie, 2008). According to Tavakol and Reicherter (2003), PBL was developed to address the perceived lack of problem-solving skills required by medical students, and has been adopted in combination with traditional methods in many medical, nursing and allied health curricula. PBL is an approach in which students work in small, collaborative groups to solve a series of problems that are presented in the context in which the students are likely to encounter. Real clinical situations are used to promote clinical reasoning responses in students as they learn what they need to know to address the client problems in the same way they would as practitioners, thus integrating theory and practice (Cooke and Moyle, 2002). In this process, the student gains knowledge, and acquires problemsolving and self-directed learning skills (Wilkie, 2000; Rideout and Carpio, 2001), an important aspect of adult learning as adults have a self-concept of being responsible for their own decisions, and need to be seen by and treated as being capable of self direction (Knowles et al., 2005). According to Azer (2008, p. 5) the primary goals of PBL in health related programmes are claimed to ‘foster clinical reasoning, problem-solving skills, self-directed learning, communication skills and deep understanding of concepts and principles in the curriculum’. The sharing of knowledge to solve problems (case scenarios) that are real life in context, encourages critical thinking and engagement. Students are encouraged to make decisions about their learning focus, needs and resources (HmeloSilver, 2004; Oliver and Omari, 1999; Valaitis et al., 2005); and present and discuss new information at their next session, reflect on the outcomes and make modifications. Students can apply their knowledge to the problem in a practical way, for example, developing a plan of care (Pawan, 2003; Valaitis et al., 2005). With this learning strategy, the teacher is a facilitator rather than an information provider (Azer, 2008). The 4-stage cycle of learning theory, developed by Kolb (1984), supports this process, arguing that students learn best when they are active, take responsibility for their learning, and are able to apply it to their own context. Kolb (1984) outlined adaptive learning modes as concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation, suggesting that learning was a process where knowledge was created through the transformation of experience, which could be facilitated through the PBL process. Web-based PBL PBL is recognized as an alternative to traditional lecture-laboratory approaches in health profession programs, and can be easily adapted to online environments to meet the increasingly diverse needs of students (Dennis, 2003). Further, Edwards et al. (1999) argue that the interactive nature of PBL also provides for direct involvement that web-based education may lack. By having PBL in web-based units, students will be taking an active role in solving problems that mirror real life scenarios through the use of case studies, and utilising an online discussion forum to discuss hypotheses and solutions. This approach encourages self-direction in learning. Self-directed, active learning where the teacher is a facilitator who allows students to construct new knowledge while promoting interpersonal communication is necessary in the e-learning environment using PBL. This process uses constructivist (Bruner, 1966) and humanistic learning principles (Rogers, 1983; Magnussen, 2008) as these skills develop metacognitive abilities, which also assist nurses to make a better transition to clinical settings (Peters, 2000). 127 Literature review A search of PBL approaches in online education over the last 10 years was conducted using the online databases ERIC, Cinahl, and Medline. Keywords used in the search included ‘problem-based learning’, ‘problem-based scenario’, ‘online education’, ‘web-based education’, ‘e-learning’, ‘nurse education’, case-based learning’, and ‘independent learning’. Criteria for inclusion were English language publications from 1997 to 2008 discussing PBL and web-based education for nurses. There was a significant amount of information on PBL generally (441), however, a paucity of articles combining PBL and web-based nursing education was revealed. There were only six primary research articles and four reviews/reports discussing web-based PBL in nurse education (Table 1). Many of the studies were conducted in the general education context and were not transferable to this situation, therefore excluded. Allied health education was included due to similarities in training and work environments. Themes that emerged include: increased flexibility, motivation and autonomy; improved critical thinking; technical/ time issues; group work; and the role of the facilitator. Increased flexibility, motivation and student autonomy A Canadian study of 22 nursing students’ perceptions of PBL over a four to 6-week period (Valaitis et al., 2005) reported that online learning increased flexibility, by allowing students to learn at their own pace, and in a manner that suited their learning style, time and location. The respondents also reported that asynchronous communication between students, used with web-based PBL, provided them with more time for reflection, consequently allowing for much more in-depth discussion on the problem they were working on. The majority of students, who expressed favourable opinions regarding this aspect of web-based PBL, recognized the value of taking a more active role with the PBL format (Valaitis et al., 2005). This study was relevant as it involved students from nursing, midwifery and a graduate neonatal program using web-based PBL. Individual’s weekly reflections throughout the experience, and semi-structured focus group interviews related to online PBL environment would have provided a wealth of data, however, the cohort was small and the study extended over a short period of time as part of the face-to-face program which included concurrent PBL classes, consequently the strength of the evidence is reduced. However, the authors described a number of techniques used to increase the trustworthiness of the findings, such as checking with the focus groups for transcription errors, similarities and differences in coding between researchers were compared and discussed, constant comparison of the main themes, and triangulation of individual reflections and focus group interviews. Further to this, the results and recommendations indicated that carefully planned training sessions for tutors and students, and a period of adaptation to online PBL provided a useful guide to developing web-based nursing programmes. An Australian study of 100 student evaluations of a 4-week trial of face-to-face PBL in a ‘traditional’ nursing degree (Cooke and Moyle, 2002) supported the findings of Valaitis et al. (2005) with many respondents reporting that PBL strategies encouraged them to take control of their own learning by promoting involvement, self-direction and identification of learning needs. This suggested students were more motivated and responsible towards this type of learning. However in this study, students were on-campus with the study extending over a 4-week period, and PBL was not online. Despite this, the number of respondents gave results that were more indicative of nursing students generally, and provided useful
  • 128 T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 information nurse educators can use in designing innovative teaching programmes. Critical thinking Critical thinking in nursing is important as it enables students to solve clinical problems and provide rationales for their clinical reasoning and decision making, with the ability to transfer reasoning strategies to new problems (Hmelo-Silver, 2004; Cooke and Moyle, 2002). Students in Cooke and Moyle’s (2002) study reported that PBL promoted critical thinking skills, as they were able to problem-solve in situations that replicated clinical situations in real life nursing practice. Student nurses were expected to analyse and synthesize various aspects of knowledge, make clinical decisions based on their learning, and provide rationales for their clinical reasoning. The teacher’s role in PBL was more interactive and responsive, and helped them to develop critical thinking skills by questioning and challenging students. This process assisted the transfer of theory to practice as students reported their learning was purposeful and relevant to their real life practice as future nurses. Valaitis et al. (2005) used a ‘real’ client to promote authentic learning, and students gained new perspectives about the day-today struggles from the client. The authors found that web-based PBL offered tremendous opportunities for interdisciplinary learning through the use of online communication. Students perceived that the various problem-based activities contributed substantially to their learning, and that the environment was enjoyable and stimulating (Oliver and Omari, 1999). In contrast to these positive findings, Oliver and Omari (1999) also reported that some students found this type of activity cognitively demanding, which tended to lessen enthusiasm for participation. Generally, however, responses regarding the development of personal skills suggested that web-based PBL strategies provided considerable scope for developing information literacy, metacognition and self-regulating skills, which were critical for lifelong learning (Oliver and Omari, 1999). In this study, online PBL was used in a core unit of an unspecified undergraduate program with a group of 57 on-campus students to explore the practical issues and responses of the learners. Action research was carried out during implementation of the courses, with data gathered at several stages from questionnaires and interviews, consequently the results could change over time. Despite not being a nursing study, and participants being on-campus, the conclusions were useful in informing decision-making about designing online PBL as it highlighted the importance of ongoing input of the teacher to provide adequate access and open lines of communication for the students. Technical/time issues Although a number of studies have identified positive aspects of online PBL, there have been challenges noted, and one major issue identified was the time needed to adjust to online PBL with the often associated frustrations of slow content downloads, time stressors, time zones and technical difficulties (Valaitis et al., 2005). A comparison between online versus face-to-face group learning (Dennis, 2003), found that computer-mediated communication in PBL resulted in significantly longer time-on-task as face-to-face groups, and that technological problems played a role in the percentage of off-task time for online PBL students. Despite this, there were no differences in learning outcomes between the two groups. Dennis (2003) concluded that the use of a chat room for PBL tutorials proved to be as effective for learning as face-to-face formats, but that the process was less efficient, and recommended cautious implementation of online PBL due to greater time needed for similar outcomes. Dennis (2003) used a post-test only control group to compare the outcomes of PBL between synchronous online groups and faceto-face tutorial groups in a medical/surgical component of a US physical therapy program. Statistical analysis was used to investigate the hypothesis that the final course grade would be no different between groups. Thirty-four participants were drawn from second year students, and seventeen randomly assigned to either a computer-mediated PBL group or a face-to-face PBL group (control). The number of participants was small and the online component minor as the study was conducted using two scenarios/ problems in a Women’s Health component of a medical/surgical conditions course with a face-to-face laboratory session. The results were obtained from one test consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions and two case-based short answer questions, reducing the generalizability of the results. While it was not a nursing program, it was useful as the medical/surgical component of an allied health program would have some similarities to nursing programs, and while limited, it investigated PBL in an online format. McLinden et al. (2006) reported on phase two of a pilot study concerned with the development and evaluation of online resources using PBL in one unit of a distance education postgraduate teaching program. Participants (34) were allocated to one of six online PBL tutorial groups, which were required to submit a group assignment with individual contributions. On completion of two case scenarios, an anonymous questionnaire (using a 4-point Likert scale) was used to collect feedback regarding participation of the online PBL component, and information related to the design and relevance of the two case scenarios. The authors found a high degree of apprehension among students at the start of the program (76%), with initial hesitation about participating in online group work and finding the fast pace of synchronous chat rooms intimidating, despite having completed induction activities. Asynchronous discussions however, enabled students to take time to think about their responses. Almost two-thirds of participants reported technical difficulties in accessing the program during the first scenario, with 40% of that group having to contact technical support for guidance. These findings suggested that use of technology must be informed by sound pedagogical principles, and that structured support be provided during the early stages of the program to maximize learner engagement. This study had a small number of participants, and involved teachers with some face-to-face components such as residential school and study days. However, the majority of the course was online, strengthening the results regarding the use of PBL in an online environment, as compared to studies where the online component was a very small part of a faceto-face course. These results could therefore be more generalizable, and used to inform the development of online components of a nursing program. Group work Conflicting results were returned about the use of group work in PBL. Oliver and Omari (1999) report that using collaborative groups in the problem-solving process allowed students to choose the extent to which they participated, resulting in large discrepancies in effort among students. However, Cooke and Moyle (2002) stated that respondents reported group contribution and participation rewarding, discussions creative, and effective group-processing skills were learnt. Edwards et al. (1999) found that, despite a small percentage of students finding the adjustment to a new approach such as PBL difficult, the item receiving the highest satisfaction rating was ‘group functioning as a PBL team’, with similar satisfaction ratings
  • T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 for the course between face-to-face and distance students. This Canadian study used pre- and post-course questionnaires to compare learning satisfaction between nursing students who attended the PBL course face-to-face (control group), and those who received the course via teleconferencing in two terms of a ‘traditional’ nursing program. From the 51 students who completed the initial set of questionnaires, 30 students and six tutors completed the second questionnaire yielding a post-course response rate of 58.8% for students, and 100% for tutors, however the sample size for this study was the number of problem-solving groups rather than the number of students, and hence the sample size for a number of comparisons was small. The post-course response rate from students was low and only nine of the 30 students were from remote/distance sites as opposed to being ‘oncampus’. Furthermore, the distance students in this research were together physically as a group, with only the facilitator linked via teleconferencing, rather than each individual being linked via electronic means, thus allowing students to be engaged in active face-to-face group process. This reduced the strength and utility of the evidence, however the conclusions added to the evidence of other studies. Valaitis et al. (2005) reported that students initially had difficulty setting learning objectives, and group decision-making was difficult with asynchronous discussion, with some students finding discussion threads confusing. In addition, preliminary communications were monologues rather than discussions as students were reluctant to reply critically to peer’s messages. Beadle and Santy (2008) described the delivery of an online undergraduate-nursing module in the UK, using a PBL approach that was previously delivered face-to-face as part of a classroom-based preregistration program. They found from student evaluations that while PBL was useful in making links between theory and practice, there were difficult group dynamics with some students ‘not pulling their weight’, along with logistical difficulties when delivering PBL face-to-face to large numbers, thus making it unpopular with the students. This improved significantly with the use of online sessions, with the discussion groups useful in enhancing student learning and engaging them in discussion, consequently this lead to students reporting they felt more comfortable participating online. The authors claimed web-based PBL was a useful method for varying delivery approaches in teaching healthcare students about practice, and the theory that underpinned it. The role of the facilitator The importance of the role of the facilitator was a recurring theme. Valaitis et al. (2005) found that students clearly valued tutor guidance, wanting direction with teacher expectations, and guidelines for online contributions. According to Oliver and Omari (1999), students continually reminded them that they valued the input of the teacher. Edwards et al. (1999) found that tutor feedback to distance students was inherently more difficult than in face-to-face situations due to the reliance on written communication. They suggested providing an opportunity to meet the tutor might overcome this problem. Assigning a group member to the role of group facilitator may also be a useful adjunct to the distance tutor. Discussion In view of the evidence, students accessing units in a Bachelor of Nursing program could benefit from web-based PBL. Not only does it provide a social learning environment with opportunities for discussion and co-participation, encouraging student autonomy and construction of meaning with real world problems consistent with PBL approaches generally, but according to Valaitis et al. 129 (2005), resources available in the online environment were highly valued. Online instruction is a viable instructional method, and has been used with success in a number of situations (Valaitis et al., 2005; Oliver and Omari, 1999; Cooke and Moyle, 2002). Webbased PBL has the potential to enhance student recruitment and retention (Parker et al., 2005) due to increased flexibility, assisting units to remain relevant and accessible (Care and Scanlan, 2000), as students will be able to access information and group discussion anywhere. According to Magnussen (2008), the success of a webbased program requires thoughtful planning, a committed faculty, and investment in technical support and equipment in an effort to reduce technical difficulties. With sound planning, the benefits of providing quality, accessible and convenient education are worth to the investment. In order to reduce the limitations of web-based PBL (such as apprehension and time taken to adjust to the PBL style of learning with group work), the course should include an orientation and a period of adaptation to the PBL, along with a technological induction to the online environment (Valaitis et al., 2005; Beadle and Santy, 2008). The program should include training for the tutors, and tutors should be encouraged to make regular contributions to the discussion forums to encourage collaboration and exploration, as well as learning of cognitive skills for problem solving (Tavakol and Reicherter, 2003). To implement a web-based programme a number of measures are recommended. Firstly, the teacher would need to be responsive to student contributions but also to make regular contributions to the discussion forum, both in the form of simple acknowledgements or requests for further information (Brookfield, 2006). Brookfield (2006) recommends that instructors need to be present and participate even more in an online discussion than face to face to enhance their social presence and keep the discussion focused on the topic by inserting questions and comments, and giving timely feedback. Secondly, requesting all participants begin their remarks by commenting on the previous participant’s observations, using these as a springboard for their own encourages wider participation, and preventing a few people dominating the discussion (Brookfield, 2006). Asynchronous communication is recommended for student contributions as the fast moving nature and fragmented discussions of synchronous chat rooms can intimidate some students. Asynchronous discussions can take place over several days and provide time for students to think about their responses (McLinden et al., 2006), which is useful for international or travelling students. Thirdly, assigning students to small groups helps manage multiple postings and promotes interaction. Finally, the course should be well organised so that the students clearly understand from the beginning what the expectations are for the class, marking criteria for participation and group work, what the ground rules for participation, and can clearly see how the interaction is linked to the content modules of the class (Brookfield, 2006). Web-based PBL could be implemented in a Clinical Practice or Community Nursing subjects with the uploading of case studies in various contexts with various clinical problems (which could also be case studies for assignment questions). Students work in assigned groups to discuss the case and what they need to research in online discussion forums, then present their findings and discuss various management options and hypothesize about possible outcomes/complications. If group assignments are produced as a result, marks could be assigned to individual’s participation to the group and individual’s section of the assignment. The instructor would monitor the group discussion and participate with questions and comments to promote interaction and focus on the topic. Price (2000) recommended PBL for a skills development component within the curriculum, while cautioning against its broad use across the whole nurse education program.
  • 130 T.R. Crawford / Nurse Education in Practice 11 (2011) 124e130 Conclusion It is proposed that some components of the Bachelor of Nursing programs, for example, the practice-based subjects such as Clinical Practice or Community Health Nursing, be implemented online using a PBL format prior to or after students going on clinical placement as these experiences enhance critical thinking and selfdirected learning (Kolb, 1984). Web-based units should include a discussion forum that enables group work for problem-solving activities, with tutor facilitation. In order to reduce some of the challenges of web-based PBL, an initial period of adaptation, with carefully planned training sessions for students and tutors in PBL processes, technological aspects and defined expectations is recommended (Valaitis et al., 2005; Beadle and Santy, 2008; Price, 2000). Providing access to teachers along adequate lines of communication (Oliver and Omari, 1999) should be encouraged throughout the implementation of the program. Students and teachers should be given the opportunity to provide feedback at regular intervals throughout the program, as further research will need to be undertaken regarding the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of web-based PBL in this program and setting. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my colleagues, Athena Sheehan and Alison Smedley for their constructive feedback and support during the writing of this paper. References Azer, S., 2008. Navigating Problem-based Learning. Elservier, Marrickville, NSW. Beadle, M., Santy, J., 2008. The early benefits of a problem-based approach to teaching social inclusion using an online virtual town. Nurse Education in Practice 8, 190e196. Brookfield, S.D., 2006. The Skilful Teacher: on Technique, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom, second ed. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Bruner, J., 1966. Constructivist Theory. http://tip.psychology.org/bruner.html (accessed 18.06.10). Care, W.D., Scanlan, J.M., 2000. Meeting the challenge of developing courses for distance delivery: two different models for course development. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 31 (3), 121e128. Cooke, M., Moyle, K., 2002. Students’ evaluation of problem-based learning. Nurse Education Today 22 (4), 330e339. Dennis, J.K., 2003. Problem-based Learning in online vs. face-to-face environments. Education for Health 16 (2), 198e209. Edwards, N., Hugo, K., Cragg, B., Peterson, J., 1999. The integration of problem-based learning strategies in distance education. Nurse Education 24 (1), 36e41. Hmelo-Silver, C.E., 2004. Problem-based learning: what and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review 16 (3), 235e266. Howatson-Jones, L., 2004. Designing web-based education courses for nurses. Nursing Standard 19 (11), 41e44. Knowles, M.S., Holton, E.F., Swanson, R.A., 2005. The Adult Learner: the Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, sixth ed. Elsevier, Burlington, MA. Kolb, D.A., 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Magnussen, L., 2008. Applying the principles of significant leaning in the e-learning environment. Journal of Nursing Education 47 (2), 82e86. McLinden, M., McCall, S., Hinton, D., Weston, A., 2006. Participation in online problem-based learning: insights from postgraduate teachers studying through open and distance education. Distance Education 27 (3), 331e353. Oliver, R., Omari, A., 1999. Using online technologies to support problem-based learning: learners’ responses and perceptions. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 15 (1), 58e79. O’Neil, C., Fisher, C., 2008. Should I take this course online? Journal of Nursing Education 47 (2), 53e58. Parker, E.B., Riza, L., Tierney, S., Barrett, A., 2005. Interdisciplinary collaboration: an effective approach for developing web-based courses. CIN: computers, informatics. Nursing 23 (6), 308e313. Pawan, F., 2003. Reflective teaching online. TechTrends 47 (4), 30e34. Peters, M., 2000. Does constructivist epistemology have a place in nurse education? Journal of Nursing Education 39, 166e172. Price, B., 2000. Problem-based learning the distance learning way: a bridge too far? Nurse Education Today 20, 98e105. Prows, C.A., Hetteberg, C., Hopkin, R.J., Latta, K.K., Powers, S.M., 2004. Development of a web-based genetics institute for a nursing audience. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 35 (5), 223e231. Rideout, E., Carpio, B., 2001. The problem-based learning model of nursing education. In: Rideout, E. (Ed.), Transforming Nursing Education through Problembased Learning. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Massachusetts, pp. 22e23. Rogers, C., 1983. Freedom to Learn for the 80s. Charles E. Merrill, Ohio. Tavakol, K., Reicherter, E.A., 2003. The role of problem-based learning in the enhancement of allied health education. Journal of Allied Health 32 (2), 110e115. Udod, S.A., Care, W.D., 2002. Lessons learned in developing and delivering webbased graduate courses: a faculty perspective. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 33 (1), 19e23. Valaitis, R.K., Sword, W.A., Jones, B., Hodges, A., 2005. Problem-based learning online: perceptions of health science students. Advances in Health Sciences Education 10, 231e252. Wilkie, K., 2000. The nature of problem-based learning. In: Glen, S., Wilkie, K. (Eds.), Problem-based Learning in Nursing: a New Model for a New Context? Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 11e13. Williams, S.M., Beattie, H.J., 2008. Problem based learning in the clinical setting e A systematic review. Nurse Education Today 28, 146e154.
  • Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.