As we are in the start-up period of the ONL162, reading up on PROBLEM BASED LEARNING’s history and its various definitions I am trying to relate it to my own experiences with e-learning and blended learning. At the same time we are trying to get our group started.

As engineers the phrase ‘problem based learning’ sounds very comforting: a.k.a. ‘What’s the problem’ – ‘Let’s fix’ it. But as we are getting started I think we are experiencing the same as many of my students have before. I have heard myself say numerous times ‘Here is your group, here are the platform we have built for you, these are the available tools (but feel free to use anything you like), and now get started! Let’s get creative guys….

After a while, as the teacher I would look into the online ‘spaces’ we have created for the course and would sometimes be disappointed with the lack of ‘immediate action’, and often had to put in some start-up energy myself. I never really understood what the problem was. But getting started with the ONL162, I get the problem better. So many places to go, things to read, tools to start using. And even though none of the tools seem very unfamiliar, using them together to come up with a collective approach to solve a (not really defined problem) seems suprisingly daunting… Absolutely fantastic to experience this feeling myself. Now lets get down to the next step. Here comes an engineering approach: read all the material, start conceptualizing the problem and see how to activate others…

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