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Title: An Analysis of the Transformative Potential of Blended Problem-based Learning in Higher Education
Author: Donnelly, R.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2444 291X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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Blended problem-based learning is a growing field of study whose impact is becoming increasingly relevant in higher education in a period of continuing rapid change and within a set of global challenges. These challenges affect the teaching staff in higher education today and as a result the staff development experts who are charged with easing their transition through the sea-change in how education is delivered. There is currently little evidence of any comprehensive studies into the transformational potential of blended problem-based learning in academic development; critical research to date has been epistemic at times but widespread and plentiful in addressing such issues as what is blended learning or problem-based learning (PBL) and how does online PBL occur. This dissertation therefore attempts to address the need for an analysis of the interactions taking place in blended PBL with a specific focus on academic staff who are engaged in professional development in higher education in the Republic of Ireland. The definitional aspects of blended PBL are considered, along with an exploration of theoretical approaches to its use in the academic development of staff It applies the relevant educational theories to the face-to-face PBL tutorials, online discussions and focus group interview texts generated over two years in a professional development module involving 17 academic staff. An underlying purpose of the work is to take original, empirical material and through its analysis using transformative learning,contribute to· understanding blended problem-based learning as a model of transformation in higher education academic development. Combining information from a variety of sources, factors governing the success of the blended PBL tutorial are suggested along with new inferences being drawn about transformations in learning· and practice within blended problem-based learning. The nature and patterns of interactions taking place in a blended PBL environment are highlighted in conjunction with preferences for specific media in the blending of PBL and eLearning. It is contended that a continue~ focus on the theoretical perspectives underpinning blended PBL is needed in order to support and promote academic development within higher education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available