All in all, it was a packed two weeks that we worked very intensively on topic 1. To be honest, I think we started too late to focus and prioritize based on the Fish document. The first meeting fell on the same day as the plenary webinar and we tried to orient ourselves based on the asynchronous videos and the text. I think for the next topics we should try to all be on the same page as early as possible, when it comes to knowing the scenario etc. But it is understandable that in the beginning, we had to find our way as a group, with the topic and with the new learning methodology. The method reminded me at some points of a self-organized traffic circle instead of a traffic light. A great but also challenging method for learning and discovery.

The learning approach reminded me at some points of a self-organized traffic circle instead of a traffic light with clear directions. A great but also challenging method for learning and discovery.

Online participation and digital literacy are a good introductory topic and we all recognized ourselves in the scenario, which was probably the intention of the authors. Looking at the steep learning curve we have all experienced over the last 12 months in terms of online learning/teaching, a quote from our coach Hans came to mind, „You learn to swim once you are in the water.“ This perspective applies to the last 12 months as well as the last 12 days. We jumped in the water and learned what this is all about by actively doing it: online participation and digital literacy.

You learn to swim once you are in the water – Take a deep dive into digital literacy and online participation and click on the picture

We were able to try out a (for us) new tool and learn what it means to participate online and to educate ourselves in digital literacy: is a kind of digital, virtual poster on which various media can be „pinned“ and clicked on. The whole thing has evolved into a great and valuable collection of content, tools and didactic approaches that we all searched for, compiled and shared together – it was ONL – online networked learning – at its best. We learned through our actions in response to the scenario exactly what these two weeks are all about. This fits very well with the quote from Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, cognitive scientist from Carnegie Mellon University: „Learning results from what the student does and thinks and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn.“ – And that’s exactly what happened: The ONL team influenced us in self-directed learning by presenting the scenario.

Any set of learning principles is predicated on a definition of learning. Ambrose et al. (2010) define learning as a process that leads to change, which occurs as a result of experience and increases the potential for improved performance and future learning (adapted from Mayer, 2002). There are three critical components to this definition: 1. Learning is a process, not a product. However, because this process takes place in the mind, we can only infer that it has occurred from students’ products or performances. 2. Learning involves change in knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, or attitudes. This change unfolds over time; it is not fleeting but rather has a lasting impact on how students think and act. 3. Learning is not something done to students, but rather something students themselves do. It is the direct result of how students interpret and respond to their experiences — conscious and unconscious, past and present.

I am very curious how the next step of self-directed scenario-based learning might look like and look forward to next weeks scenario including the collaborative and fun approach of learning with my PBL5-fellows.


Ambrose, S./Bridges, M./DiPietro, M./Lovett, M./Norman, M. (2010): How learning works: seven research-based principles for smart teaching, John Wiley, San Francisco.

Mayer, R. E. (2002): The promise of educational psychology, volume 2: Teaching for meaningful learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Merrill Prentice Hall .

A challenge is more inspiring than a recipe!