Using Problem-Based Learning in Web-Based Components of Nurse Education

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This article was originally published as:

Crawford, T. R. (2011). Using problem-based learning in web-based components of nurse education. Nurse Education in Practice, 11(2), 24-30. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2010.10.010

ISSN: 1471-5953


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centred method of teaching, and is initiated by introducing a clinical problem through which learning is fostered by active inquisition (Tavakol and Reicherter, 2003). Using this teaching and learning strategy for web-based environments is examined from the literature for potential implementation in a Bachelor of Nursing program.

In view of the evidence, students accessing online nursing subjects would seem to benefit from web-based PBL as it provides flexibility, opportunities for discussion and co-participation, encourages student autonomy, and allows construction of meaning as the problems mirror the real world. PBL also promotes critical thinking and transfer of theory to practice. It is recommended that some components of practice-based subjects such as Clinical Practice or Community Health Nursing, could be implemented online using a PBL format, which should also include a discussion forum to enable group work for problem-solving activities, and tutor facilitation.


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