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  Review, Access, Question, Decide, Report, Reflect


Setting Notes
ICT Contribution


Setting Notes


Preparing Learners

Skills and Understanding Required of Learners

The skills required are related to information literacy and learning skills such as knowledge acquisition, evaluating the quality of the information, and applying strategies to a specific context. Learners need to collate and synthesise information to explain a situation and use a wide variety of evidence to support their argument. Listening and communication skills (verbal and written) are important in resolving the problem situation and asking the relevant questions. ICT skills are required to navigate around the web site and to use the Bulletin Board.

Additional Preparation

Some understanding and awareness of problem-based learning and the subject area is of importance. Ground rules are established with the group which sets out rights and responsibilities, and for the most part attendance and participation is necessary to work through the problem-based learning activities. Off campus, students are required to participate on the Bulletin Board and keep up with the schedule of reading material and revision questions.

Teacher Assistance

What guidelines and strategies are needed to assist teachers to successfully design such a learning setting for their own discipline area?

Skills are needed in the following areas:

  • How to write a set of problem scenarios and responses that align with the curriculum;
  • How to conduct a training session in problem-based learning;
  • How to design a marking framework that assesses the learning outcomes;
  • How to offer scaffolding (learner supports) at appropriate times.

Guidelines needed by Tutor/Facilitator

How to assess responses to the activities, and how to moderate Bulletin Board discussion.




Students are given structured tasks to resolve a given situation over a four-week period. The situation is tailored to the curriculum over the same period. Support is offered in the form of class discussion, Bulletin Board discussion and teacher-provided resources (both online and hard copy). The students are expected to conduct independent research and generate their own resources in order to resolve the given situation.

  1. To review and think critically about the information on the content areas in question.
  2. To demonstrate that you can access up to date, relevant and informative information about the content areas in question.
  3. To read and think about the information you have collected and form your own opinion, and questions.
  4. To demonstrate that you do not accept data at face value and can decide on its reliability and worth.
  5. To report your findings in a manner that can be understood by a wide audience.
  6. To reflect on your own learning arising from the process of writing the synopsis.





A marking framework is designed and emphasises qualities required for the assignments and criteria by which they can be evaluated. The qualities that are emphasised are: expression and presentation, factual accuracy, content coverage, level of synthesis and research effort. These qualities are emphasised rather than specific answers to questions. Student write-ups of each stage are assessed individually.

The PBL assessment is divided into 3 activities. Activities 1 and 2 are assessed together and worth 30% of the overall grade. Activity 3 of PBL is submitted last and is worth 30% of overall grade. The remaining assessment is by final examination.


The assessment strategies are designed to emphasise the learning skills the teacher expects students to demonstrate in their answers. Students play a role in the design of the marking frameworks and have a workshop on assessment. In the workshop they learn about the difficulties in assessment and the importance of feedback for their learning.


ICT Contribution



The level and type of access to technology need to be considered. Peer scaffolding occurs through the bulletin board and allows the tutor to assess the understanding shown by students of PBL.


ICT supports peer learning and interaction, scaffolding by the teacher and access to resources.


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