About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2421-2428
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain


Z. Ali, M. Samaka, K. Shaaban

Qatar University (QATAR)
PBL has been utilized for more than four decades and is considered a powerful and engaging learning strategy that results in sustained and transferable learning. Most PBL courses rely mainly on traditional face-to-face activities and partially on limited useful features of a Course Management System.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are great environments for PBL teachers and students to overcome the problems of collaborative communications, resource sharing, and communications. Instructors can easily manage and distribute learning materials, both synchronous and asynchronous communications are available in almost all VLEs.
Most modern VLEs provide great tools for many PBL activities but instructors, however, could not utilize them in their course mainly because they were developed and presented in the context of classical pedagogies. In fact, many online implementations of PBL failed due to the absence of a certain PBL essential feature in the LMS, or the lack of customizability in the available tools.
Current implementations of LMSs are designed mainly to facilitate lecture-based education. Unfortunately none of them efficiently adapted to the PBL context. Most CMSs provide many PBL-useful features such as grouping, computer-mediated communications, and assessments. However, since such tools are designed with PBL not in mind, they might end up either less-effective, unsupportive of particular activities, or even lacking the compatibility with the core PBL concepts and scenarios.
In certain cases, some essential PBL features were either unsupported or entirely removed in the new versions of the LMS. Blackboard, for instance, has removed wikis from the standard product in version 9.0 resulting in depriving PBL tutors and students from a practically-effective, collaborative tool.
In moodle, a very popular open source CMS, PBL educators relied on both the core features available in the moodle core LMS and on tools contributed by the moodle community. Features contributed by the community are either a customized form of an existing feature or a feature that did not exist in the standard version.
Some very useful activities contributed by the community lacked the grouping support making them of no use in PBL courses.
In this paper we propose a customizable framework for PBL courses in the open-source Virtual Learning Environment moodle. The course design is entirely built around the problem itself rather than just making the problem one of the available activities. All activities, resource-sharing, groups, dynamic roles, monitoring , reporting, communications, and assessments, are built at the problem level with grouping and roles in mind and all are intuitively linked to the activities of the course groups.
The design works on implementing several PBL scenarios and use-cases that have been developed and published in a previous research work. The roles of the course users are carefully designed to meet the terms of PBL at each phase or activity.
The prototype tries to take advantage of the rich, free, and dynamic nature of the moodle system to build a new course format for PBL. Several methods of assessments with customizable rubrics were also added to the system.
The model enriches communications and collaboration by adding synchronous and asynchronous tools have been incorporated in the prototype from simple messages to web conferencing.
author = {Ali, Z. and Samaka, M. and Shaaban, K.},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2421-2428}}
AU - Z. Ali AU - M. Samaka AU - K. Shaaban
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 2421
EP - 2428
ER -
Z. Ali, M. Samaka, K. Shaaban (2011) A VIRTUAL PROBLEM BASED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN MOODLE, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 2421-2428.