The Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education (JPBLHE) represents state of the art research in the theory and practice of PBL in higher education and actively seeks to promote transformative and progressive university pedagogy; it is published by Aalborg University, Dept. Of Communication and Psychology. The editors are particularly interested in receiving high-quality original research articles, informed by robust empirical and theoretical underpinnings from the fields and disciplines related to problem-based learning in higher education, particularly pedagogy, but also articles based on fields and disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and science and engineering. The journal is also interested in receiving articles that make an original practical or critical contribution to research theory and practice and knowledge and understanding of contemporary themes, developments and current thinking in problem-based learning in higher education. Scope/Coverage: Principles and philosophy of PBL in Higher Education The pedagogy of PBL PBL and everyday practice PBL management and policy-making PBL and workplace cultures Critical PBL PBL, ICT and technology-enhanced learning PBL and networked learning PBL internships and cooperative education PBL and intercultural studies Interdisciplinarity and PBL PBL, creativity and creative processes


The library contains articles of Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education as of vol. 1(2013) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Using PBL and Interactive Methods in Teaching Subjects in Medical Education

    Demikhova, Nadiia (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
    In modern life information and telecommunication technologies are becoming more and more developed. It especially attracts and captures the young - young scientists, teachers and students.The purpose of the article is to highlight the experience of implementing technology of problem-based learning in the traditional system of teaching medical disciplines. We try to analyze the impact of the training project Tempus «Introduction of innovative teaching strategies in medical education and the development of the international network of national training centers" (530519-TEMPUS-1-2012-1-UK-TEMPUS-JPCR) on the quality of teaching students of medical orientation. A problem-oriented learning is used as an innovative educational technology in teaching of biomedical subjects - (problem-based learning - PBL), team training(team-based learning - TBL), interactive lectures (interactive engagement, peer instruction with clickers), discussion, training in cooperation (collaborative learning), cooperative learning (cooperative learning). We came to the conclusion the development and implementation of the system of communicative, interactive problem-based learning, characterized by practice-oriented approach, provides a reproducible stable planned results in practical terms with the formation of skills and abilities at the beds of the patients, helps self-organization and increases competitiveness of a person, able to adapt in the conditions in society that is developing rapidly.
  • Introducing problem-based learning to undergraduate IT service management course: student satisfaction and work performance

    Pažur Aničić, Katarina; Mekovec, Renata (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
    This paper describes the implementation of problem-based learning (PBL) principles in an undergraduate IT service management course, followed by the results about student satisfaction and work performance. The results indicate the students’ general satisfaction with the course implementation, as well as some challenges regarding the self-assessment and peer assessment of their work. The findings also reveal the students’ better work performance in project results than in traditional knowledge tests, which reinforces the indications about their positive attitudes towards the interactive PBL environment. The cluster analyses identified seven different patterns in student behaviour regarding course performance. The presented results can be considered a new aspect of the development and amendment of the information and communication technology (ICT) skills requested by future employers. In this regard, the demand for innovation in the education of future ICT professionals arises from the need for experts equipped with both IT and business skills.
  • Connecting Learning Analytics and Problem-Based Learning – Potentials and Challenges

    Kilińska, Daria; Ryberg, Thomas (Aalborg University Press, 2019-09-06)
    Learning analytics (LA) are a young but fast-growing field, which, according to some authors, holds big promises for education. Some claim that LA solutions can help measure and support constructivist classrooms and 21st century skills, thus creating a potential of making an alignment between LA and PBL principles and practices. Despite this argument, LA have not yet gained much interest among the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) practitioners and researchers and the possible connections between PBL and LA have not yet been properly explored. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to investigate how LA can potentially be used to support and inform PBL practice. We do this by identifying central themes that remain constant across various orchestrations of PBL (collaboration, self-directed learning, and reflection) and present examples of LA tools and concepts that have been developed within LA and neighbouring fields (e.g. CSCL) in connection to those themes. This selection of LA solutions is later used as a basis for discussing wider potentials, challenges and recommendations for making connections between PBL and LA.  
  • Voices From The Field: Developing Employability Skills for Archaeological Students Through the Experimentation and the Pedagogy of Problem Based Learning

    Wood, Gaynor (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
    Graduate employment statistics are receiving considerable attention in UK universities. This paper looks at how a wide range of employability attributes can be developed with students, through the innovative use of the Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach. The case study discussed here involves a group of archaeology students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) and their task of reconstructing and firing a small, early medieval clamp kiln. The employability skills and attributes that the students felt they had developed from this experience are discussed, with reference to Yorke’s USEM model of employability. Thanks are due to Get Your Wellies Outdoor Learning Centre, Preston, Lancashire for the use of their site, and to James Claydon, Bernard and Pat Fleming, Brian Joynes, Josh Pugh, Dan Scully, Mike Woods for their involvement in the experiment
  • The Implementation and Evaluation of a Project-Oriented Problem-Based Learning Module in a First Year Engineering Programme

    McLoone, Seamus; Lawlor, Bob; Meehan, Andrew (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
    This paper describes how a circuits-based project-oriented problem-based learning educational model was integrated into the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering programme at Maynooth University, Ireland. While many variations of problem based learning exist, the presented model is closely aligned with the model used in Aalborg University, Denmark. Key learning outcomes, implementation features and an evaluation of the integrated project-oriented problem-based learning module over a two year period are all presented within.
  • Interdisciplinary PBL Course Development in Higher Education

    Bowen, Cheryl Marie (Aalborg University Press, 2019-05-23)
    This case study explores how a problem-based learning (PBL), graduate education course could be organized in ways that utilize the current knowledge of how people learn within diverse, real world community settings. Students were asked to identify an educational enterprise and a social problem within a culturally diverse, high-need community. Throughout the course, they designed a service-learning experience, which was linked to the mission and vision of the enterprise while providing a meaningful, sustainable service to the community. At the end of the course, students viewed themselves as potential agents of social change through project presentations and reflections.
  • Editorial

    Ryberg, Thomas; Davidsen, Jacob; Dahl, Bettina (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
  • Entire issue

    Andersen, Jane Bak (Aalborg University Press, 2016-12-21)
  • Bisociation of artistic and academic approaches in problem-based projects

    Heinrich, Falk (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
    This article presents a theoretical elaboration of the potential relationship between the academic and artistic approaches within a problem-based educational setting. The investigation is based on Koestler’s idea of the “bisociation” (blending) of dissimilar thinking and action matrices as the foundational mechanism of human creation in academic discovering, artistic creation, and humour, respectively. On the basis of my own experiences with higher education pedagogy exemplified by a concrete workshop held with students from two different educational programmes at Aalborg University, the article investigates the bisociation of artistic and academic matrices and codes by scrutinising how these apparent incompatibilities could be functions of a blending mechanism. The article proposes that the bisociation of the artistic and academic approaches should be understood as mutual inscriptions leading to an emphasised correlation between academic abstractions and associative-emotional experiences leading to an increase in complexity, specifically, a multifaceted understanding and emotional perception of today’s societal challenges.
  • Problem Orientation in Art and Technology

    Jespersen, Line Marie Bruun (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
    Art and Technology is an interdisciplinary art program at AAU that involves knowledge and methods ranging from the humanities, to engineering sciences. Art and Technology is a hybrid program that combines science and technology with the artistic imagination, and thus combines both artistic and academic methodologies. The main question this paper addresses is: “What is a problem in art?” The paper discusses what defines a problem as in the PBL Aalborg Model, in the field of Art and Technology, by analysing the problem formulations of the 2017 BA projects through Mogens Pahuus three types of problem orientation. The paper discusses the potentials and pitfalls of PBL in art and technology education.
  • Editorial

    Heinrich, Falk; Jochum, Elizabeth (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
  • Entire issue

    Andersen, Jane Bak (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
  • Co-Lab on Developing Cyborg Arts – Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Practice Based Solutions

    Pearlman, Ellen (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
    The world’s first co-lab in Cyborg Arts was conducted at Parsons/New School University over the course of sixteen weeks. This paper investigates the use of Donald Schon’s Reflect Practice Methodology (Schon 1983) and Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory (Latour 2005) in facilitating new solutions. Previously, an open call had been placed in targeted venues such as Art and Education, as well as a number of technology user groups in the New York City area to solicit ideas and participants. With the help of the Cyborg Foundation, three teams were chosen to build prototypes of a new cyborg sense: Team Glass, Team Radiation and Team Haptics. Team Glass strove to make a cyborg sense detecting the rhythm of changes in the sun’s solar flares; Team Radiation decided to make a sense to distinguish and alert the user to different types of organic and inorganic radiation in the environment, and Team Haptics wanted to use one of the participant’s own body to correct a medical problem with their nervous system’s coordination of gait. Students from Parsons MFADT program self-selected a team to work with. Specialists and guests either visited the co-lab or used Skype to converse with the participants during the course of the semester. Communication channels on Slack and Tumblr allowed immediate cross sharing of information, as well as searchable archives of group practice. Registered Parsons students stayed committed to the lab in order to receive a grade. Other participants had various reasons to be involved, such as learning new skills, seeing their ideas realized, and stepping outside of their core discipline. The major conduits of communication for the teams outside of lab time were the web-based Slack application that logged a history of their thoughts and interactions, and an additional private Tumblr for the students to share their ideas in documenting their progress. This paper examines how critical interventions at key moments in group dynamics with these methodologies and analyses led to breakthroughs and dynamic interpretations of these sensing techniques, and thus new aspects of cyborg art.
  • The intentional use of learning technologies to improve learning outcomes in studio.

    MacKenzie, Andrew; Muminovic, Milica; Oerlemans, Karin (Aalborg University Press, 2017-09-18)
    At the University of Canberra, Australia, the design and architecture faculty are trialling a range of approaches to incorporating learning technologies in the first year foundation studio to improve student learning outcomes. For this study researchers collected information on students’ access to their assignment information and feedback from the learning management system (LMS) to discover how the students engaged in the design process.The studio curriculum was designed to encourage students to engage in a convergence, divergence dynamic (Brown, 2009; Thomas, Billsberry, Ambrosini, & Barton, 2014) in developing their own understanding of the design process. The staff tailored around points of convergence, online instruction, assessment tools and feedback in studio. We argue that using learning technologies in this way can improve intentionality at the beginning of semester, enhance students understanding of feedback and facilitate a more iterative approach to problem based learning in studio practice.
  • Bringing the classroom into the world: three Australian cases of designing mobile technology to support blended learning for the built and landscaped environment

    Smith, Wally Michael; Lewi, Hannah; Saniga, Andrew; Stickells, Lee; Constantinidis, Dora (Aalborg University Press, 2017-09-18)
    We describe and reflect on three case studies of developing fieldwork for tertiary students of architectural history, landscape history and urban design. In each case, the potential of blended learning was explored through the use of mobile technology to explore designated sites as extensions of class-based learning. Two studies involved the development of apps that worked as guides for students to explore places of significance in Melbourne, while one study invited students to develop a design for a mobile app that could communicate the influence of urban design thinkers on a particular place in Sydney. We describe how these three exercises provide insights into the way that mobile technology, both real and imagined, can provide a conduit between classroom and field learning. Equally significant, we reflect on how the process of designing the apps became one of extended co-creation between student, tutors and teaching staff, also with consequence for learning.
  • Interactive Art, Performance and Scientific Research into Corporeal Empathy

    Da Silva, Alexsandro Almeida (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
    This paper presents the evaluation of a design research project that combines artistic practice and academic theory at a high standard in both fields, proving that the problem-based learning (PBL) is a strong method for bridging the gap between those fields. “Researching Empathy Through Performance” was a Master thesis of Interaction Design and consisted of the development of an artistic performance entitled “My Body, Your Room”, which functioned as a site for conducting scientific research into corporeal empathy. The project investigated how embodied methodologies that combine dance performance and interactive technologies can strengthen empathic relationships between the audience, performer, and the environment. The project was developed at the Kolding School of Design in Denmark, and utilised cross-disciplinary theories, concepts and methods from interaction design, performance studies and neurology. The working methodology drew on artistic approaches and scientific research methods such as quantitative and qualitative analysis; the analysis included video documentation, ethnography, surveys and interviews.
  • Integrated Design Processes by Sequential Primary Generators

    Foged, Isak Worre (Aalborg University Press, 2018-10-09)
    This paper proposes, exemplifies and discusses a new design method, including both artistic and scientific modes of working. It is based on the idea of integrated design processes driven by strategic implementation of what is termed sequential primary generators. The paper initiates by discussing design and creative process research and filters central aspects that are coalesced with a proposed tree-phase early stage design method. The proposed architectural design method has been applied in three university projects. In the last project, students where asked to respond to a questionnaire survey to identify the growth of design and creative capabilities from a student perspective. The paper presents the results and discussion based upon these projects and studies. Survey answers show that the proposed design method increases both design quality and design knowledge. This  suggest that other creative processes may be addressed through this design methodology, featuring both problem and solution driven procedures.

    Kocaturk, Tuba (Aalborg University Press, 2017-09-18)
    This paper results from an educational research project that was undertaken by the School of Architecture, at the University of Liverpool funded by the Higher Education Academy in UK. The research explored technology driven shifts in architectural design studio education, identified their cognitive effects on design learning and developed an innovative blended learning approach that was implemented at a masters level digital design studio. The contribution of the research and the proposed approach to the existing knowledge and practice are twofold. Firstly, it offers a new pedagogical framework which integrates social, technical and cognitive dimensions of knowledge construction. And secondly, it offers a unique operational model through the integration of both mediational and instrumental use of digital media. The proposed model provides a useful basis for the effective mobilization of next generation learning technologies which can effectively respond to the learning challenges specific to architectural design knowledge and its means of creation.
  • Blended Learning: Architectural Design Studio Experiences Using Housing in Istanbul

    Alkiser Bregger, Yasemin (Aalborg University Press, 2017-09-18)
    This paper presents how a blended learning pedagogic model is integrated into an architectural design studio for housing in the Faculty of Architecture in Istanbul Technical University adapting the problem-based learning process. Fall 2015 and spring 2016 semester architectural design studios for fourth and sixth level undergraduate students in the ITU Faculty of Architecture were dedicated to housing issues. These studios collaborated with “Introduction to Housing” workspace in the EU OIKONET project. Integration of a blended learning pedagogic model into problem-based studio courses and its improvement in collaboration with the OIKONET platform over a year are also evaluated through the content of ITU design studios.Keywords: blended learning, problem-based learning, architectural design studio experience, housing, OIKONET. 
  • The ‘Tutorless’ Design Studio: A Radical Experiment in Blended Learning

    Hill, Glen Andrew (Aalborg University Press, 2017-09-18)
    This paper describes a pedagogical experiment in which blended learning strategies were used to replace the traditional role of design tutors in a first year architectural design studio.   The pedagogical objectives, blended learning strategies and outcomes of the course are detailed. While the quality of the student design work produced by the blended learning design studio was independently assessed as being of a very high standard, the student feedback on the course was mixed. Given the equivocation evident in the student feedback, the paper concludes by speculating on factors beyond the educational strategies that may have led to the high quality of student design work.   

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