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The adoption of virtual environments has quickly changed the way knowledge is imparted to a group of learners. In any learning activity, the involvement of a student is important, and problem based learning techniques can do just that! In order to enhance the overall learning experience, a learning management system must be able to map real world problems onto a virtual platform. The effectiveness of these strategies can increase greatly when used over a virtual environment supported by advanced features and applications. It is now very easy to facilitate group based discussions and problem solving sessions among several learners.
Traditional classroom courses use problem based learning activities where students solve a set of questions after studying a chapter or topic. Primarily meant to improve a student’s involvement in the learning activity, problem based learning in a traditional classroom course is just about seeking model answers to some pre-defined problems. It is no longer centered on the benefits of students.
Virtual environments have successfully implemented problem based learning strategies:
1. All learners in a group can jointly analyze and solve a particular problem.
2. Discussion on various ideas, solutions, principles and problem types is possible.
3. Students can prepare themselves to deal with unseen and ill structured real world problems.
4. Constant refinement of question-answer collection in a learning management system is quick and easy.
5. Students can learn about the practical application of course content.
Information delivery is easy. Knowledge delivery is important.
Simple delivery of course content is easy as it only constitutes information, graphics and animations. However, the delivery of information is not same as the delivery of knowledge. Information has to be delivered in a proper way so as to ensure the delivery of knowledge to the receiver. Effective and efficient problem based learning is about putting together information in a way so as to maximize comprehension and involvement on the learner’s behalf.