Skip to Main Content
Problem based learning (PBL) promotes engagement in meaningful learning and cooperation among students. When applying PBL in distributed groups distance has to be bridged by means of technology. Collaborative virtual environments (CVE) can help to overcome two crucial problems of PBL, if used in a distributed learning situation: Firstly, learners have problems to understand, interact with, and tailor shared learning environments, so that they match their needs. Secondly, groups of learners have problems to construct shared knowledge in a shared learning environment. Our approach is to provide a CVE designed to support PBL. We use the metaphor of a virtual institute to organize the learning environment and to facilitate orientation in and tailoring of the CVE. In addition, we provide a graphical cooperative knowledge representation tool to help groups to construct shared knowledge in a PBL process. We use cooperative hypermedia technology to represent both shared learning spaces and shared information spaces as shared hyperdocuments.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Jan. 2001