47 problem based learning environments also have the

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Unformatted text preview: 1999; Hannafin, 1996), and Goal based Scenarios (GBS’s) (Schank, Berman, & Macpherson, 1999; Schank, Fano, Bell, & Jona, 1993/1994). In general, these constructivist learning environments have the following characteristics: learning through problem solving in authentic environments; an emphasis on student collaboration; helping students view problems from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and assessment that employs student-generated artifacts or student exhibitions (Krajcik, 1999). 47 Problem-based learning environments also have the following major components (Jonassen, 1999; Tan & Hung, 2002). • A problem, case, issue, or project that guides and structures the learning • A series of related cases to help scaffold learners’ thinking • Information resources or information banks (Perkins, 1992) to provide need background information • Supporting tools, often in the form of technology applications, that include cognitive tools to support students’ learning and problem solving, and conversation and collaboration tools to facilitate group problem solving and interactions • Social/contextual support to provide training and environmental support needed by teachers and students These characteristics of a constructivist learning environment and the components of problem-based learning provide a useful context for thinking about instructional design issues for problem-based learning. Selecting the Problem, Question, Issue. Project, Or Case The key instructional design decision in planning problem-based learning is the identification of the problems. These problems are the focus of problembased learning, and students use them to acquire important knowledge and skills. An effective problem should have a number of characteristics. 48 First, the problems should typically be ill-defined problems (Arends, 2001). Ill-defined problems are like the complex problems that are encountered in everyday life. They should require students to define some aspects of the problem as they solve it,...
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