Tackle implementation challenges in project-based learning: a survey study of PBL e-learning platforms
Project-based learning (PBL) has been identified as an effective pedagogy for instructors to help students to learn interdisciplinary knowledge, problem-solving skills, modes of thinking, and collaborative practices through solving problems in a real-world context. However, previous studies reported that instructors from K-12 to tertiary learning environments found it challenging to implement such a pedagogy for various reasons. The emergence of PBL E-learning platforms in the recent decade has attracted increasing interest in adoption and seems to provide a solution to tackle the difficulties in PBL implementation. Yet little is known about designing these platforms and how they facilitate the PBL learning process and management. In the current study, we conducted a multiple case survey study on 16 PBL learning platforms in English and Chinese, collected data on their features and functions, categorized them according to their services provided, and analyzed how they tackle the implementation challenges. Additionally, we identified four trends in PBL development as pedagogy, the skills, and competence required for teachers and students to successfully carry out PBL via e-learning platforms and provide suggestions to improve and refine the platform design for educational technologists and related stakeholders. The limitations of this study and the future research direction are included.