The ONL course design builds on open, collaborative and networked learning practices and explores how a problem-based learning format can be utilized in an online learning environment.

In developing ONL we are drawing on the ideas and pedagogical frameworks such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Community of Inquiry (CoI) (Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes, Garrison, 2013) and Networked learning (McConnell, 2006). The key learning principles behind PBL that we try to put into play is to view learning as a constructive, collaborative, self-directed and contextual process (Dolmans, 2005). As a part of the design, a model named FISh (Focus, Investigate, Share) is used for individual and group inquiry (Nerantzi & Uhlin, 2012). We believe that using the emerging ideas on Networked learning can be a way forward to design for PBL online. McConnell (2006) suggests that the following pedagogical areas must be addressed when designing networked learning courses:

  •         Openness in the educational process
  •         Self-determined learning
  •         A real purpose in the cooperative process
  •         A supportive learning environment
  •         Collaborative assessment of learning
  •         Assessment and evaluation of the ongoing learning process

By building on the frameworks of PBL and Networked learning, we want to further explore how these frameworks can be utilized to create open, collaborative and online learning environments. An intention in designing the course is to develop a community of practice that can enhance understanding of what personal learning networks and environments can mean and how these can be built. The course is built on the use of freely available social media tools that does not require extensive technical skills to be mastered and implemented.

References and suggested resources

Barrett, T. & Cashman, D. (Eds) (2010) A Practitioners’ Guide to Enquiry and Problem-based Learning. Dublin: UCD Teaching and Learning.

Creelman, A., Kvarnström, M., Paregis, J., Uhlin, L. & Åbjörnsson, L. (2022). Problem-Based Learning in International Online Groups. In: Hrastinski, S. (ed.) Designing Courses with Digital Technologies. Insights and examples from Higher Edication. Chapter 6. New York: Routledge.

Dolmans DH, De Grave W, Wolfhagen IH, van der Vleuten CP. Problem-based learning: future challenges for educational practice and research. Med Educ. 2005;39(7):732-741.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2012). International Perspectives on Problem-based Learning: Contexts, Cultures, Challenges, and AdaptationsInterdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 6(1).

Kamp, R.J.A., Dolmans, D.H.J.M., van Berkel, H.J.M. et al (2012). The relationship between students’ small group activities, time spent on self-study, and achievement. High Educ 64: 385.

Kek, M. & Huijser, H. (2015). 21st century skills: problem based learning and the University of the Future. Paper Third 21st Century Academic Forum Conference, Harvard, Boston, USA.

Maastricht University – short introductory videos on PBL and underlying core priciples
Problem-Based Learning – an overview (4,54 min)
Contextual Learning (3,11 min)
Constructive Learning (3,29 min)
Collaborative Learning (3,18 min)
Self-Directed Learning (3,22 min)

McConnel, D. (2006). E-learning groups and communities. Open University Press.

Nerantzi, C. (2012). A Case of Problem Based Learning for Cross-Institutional CollaborationElectronic Journal of e-Learning10(3), 306-314.

Savin-Baden, M., (2014) Problem-based learning: New constellations for the 21stCentury. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching 25 (3/4) 197-219 (Preprint Savin-Baden JECT (3))

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press.

3 thoughts on “ONL pedagogical approach & design

    1. Hi Muhammad!
      At the botton of each page, you can find “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL”. Enter your email address and hit “SUBSCRIBE” and follow the instructions.
      Warm welcome to the course!

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