An Educational Experience with Online Teaching – Not a Best Practice

Ditte Kolbæk, Anne-Mette Nortvig

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Problem- and Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a widely used pedagogical method in higher education. Although PBL encourages self-directed learning and works with the students’ own projects and problems, it also includes teacher presentations, discussions and group reflections, both on-campus and online. Therefore, the teacher’s plans might be relevant to the students’ projects, but that is not always the case. This study investigates how master’s students interact with an online Problem-Based Learning design and examines how technology influences these interactions. The empirical data stem from lessons at an online master’s course, and they were collected and analyzed using a netnographic approach. The study finds that concepts like self-directed learning and active involvement of everyone can have very different meanings from the teachers’ and the students’ points of view. If the students do not see the relevance immediately, they often leave the online sessions. Hence the title: This study describes an experience and provides a point of departure for further discussion, but it is not an example of best practices for online PBL.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTomorrow’s Learning : Involving Everyone – Learning with and about technologies and computing
EditorsArthur Tatnall, Mary Webb
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Publication date25 Jul 2018
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-74309-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74310-3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018
EventWCCE 2017: IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education - Dublin Castle Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 3 Jul 20176 Jul 2017


ConferenceWCCE 2017: IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education
LocationDublin Castle Conference Centre
Internet address
SeriesIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology

Bibliographical note

Ditte has been teaching for decades, and she has been passionate about learning and teaching since she was very young. This passion has let her through an unusual carrier in which teaching always was the core, no matter if she was IT system developer, marketing manager or manager of organizational learning in Oracle. Since 2013 she has focused on her passion in her research on organizational learning, learning in higher education and becoming an online leader. She truly believes that challenges enforce learning, and that we learn as a continuation of our experiences. Problem Based Learning (PBL) in higher education fits very well into these believes.


  • Problem Based Learning (PBL)
  • Online Laerning
  • Moodle
  • Video
  • Computer Science Education

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