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3.2. What PBL digital tools are being used for primary education?

In this sub-module you will have an approach to PBL education, how to apply PBL method in your sessions and how to use digital technologies in your classes. You will also learn about the main PBL digital tools, how they work and how to introduce them in your classes. 

3.2.1. The PBL Approach

Online learning combined with a PBL approach significantly advances academic learning, both from the perspective of the learner and about the process. Learning of this kind provides the learner, the lecturer, the academic institute, and the society as a whole with a significant contribution: they receive high-quality learning products that are effective and more appropriate for their needs. Nevertheless, digital tools combined with PBL involves addressing various requirements pertaining to pedagogical and technological content, which need to be predefined and necessitate the compliance all those involved in the process: the instructor, the student, and the academic institute. The use of digital tools combined with practice according to the PBL approach has the potential to provide students with meaningful experiences that will shape and develop their self-perception as digital citizens and informed teachers.

3.2.3. Applying PBL in Teaching

PBL can be used as a teaching aid in class to stimulate interaction between students and the exploration of a difficult concept. For example, when introducing one problem to be solved in the classroom, a simple class exercise can be used by giving groups different problem-solving tasks and asking them to see if they can detect the behavior in their example. This then leads on to an in-depth discussion of the concept at the class level. 

PBL can be used in seminars. It can help students to think more actively about a topic by applying their given problem-solving tasks rather than the formal way of teaching which can make seminars dull and uninteresting for all who are taking part. 

PBL can be used by whole course delivery. Students put themselves into solving learning problems on the very early outset of the course, they choose a specific topic that they want to research further and they work on that case throughout the taught part of the module. The course is delivered using a variety of learning and teaching methods with student participation. 

PBL can be used effectively in assessment in written examinations. A successful application in examinations is that students should be told that they would be involved in solving practical problems in the examination, which would consist of case studies and they would be asked to create their own undergone cases based on theory and suggest its solution by analyzing every character in the situation. In this way, students are encouraged to take a deep approach to the theory as they can select the theory they were particularly interested in and study it in detail rather than cramming their heads with facts, which often happens with unseen examinations. 

PBL can be used in presentations including role play. Problem-solving tasks provide a useful way of engaging small teams of students in active information seeking and evaluation to justify an active approach and give an oral presentation on their research and even role-play scenarios. 

PBL can be used in writing essays. Problem-solving tasks can be used very effectively for academic assignments that require students to demonstrate understanding in an applied setting. They can also be used to ask students to take a more sophisticated critical approach and use their pedagogical and psychological understanding of research.