The Interface of Problem-based Learning and Technology: The Sonic Experience

C. Gibbon and M. McLoughlin (UK)


Problem-based learning, technology, health


The Students Online in Nursing Integrated Curricula (SONIC) project has developed web-based resources to support students engaged with problem-based learning (PBL). In PBL students are expected to seek their own resource material. However the diversity and capabilities of current students present their own challenges. There was evidence that demonstrated that students were already using the Internet for resource material and developing focused resources would take advantage of these actions. A variety of resources have been placed on the project website including pertinent questions. These support the methodology and encourage students to discuss their findings in their PBL groups in the usual manner. A report by Savin-Baden [1] suggests that the model of PBL used is a ‘content + support’ model and recommendations include how to move this model forward. Students have not only reported a positive view of the resources, but also reported increased confidence in their IT skills. The flexibility was particularly commented upon as students felt enabled to use the resources to fit in with their own lifestyles. This suggests that there is a place for a web-based resource which enhances learning without necessarily the need for full online learning.

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