Design of a Problem-Based Online Learning Environment and Evaluation of its Effectiveness

 

ABSTRACT

Problem-based learning approach present several advantages such as improving studentsí engagement in learning and fostering their higher-order thinking skills. Although there is a plethora of research regarding implementation of problem-based learning in classrooms, its design and application process for web-based environments need further investigation because of independent nature of online settings. This study developed a problem-based online learning environment based on constructivist learning design model proposed by Jonassen (1999) and evaluated its effectiveness. It was conducted in the spring 2014 semester with an intention to access to total population that is 1,417 students receiving distance education for Turkish II course at six university vocational schools. The online lesson was implemented in one week, and data were gathered through studentsí performance tasks and self-evaluation form. The research indicated that the problem-based online learning environment has a positive influence on learning. Moreover, it was revealed that dynamic nature of online environment affected learnerís participation in the designed activities and collaboration among students could not be fostered. Several suggestions were proposed based on the results.