Problem based learning in the design of a multimedia project

  • Iain McAlpine The University of New South Wales
  • Rex Clements The University of Melbourne


This article examines problem based learning (PBL) as a basis for the design of interactive multimedia. To be effective, interactive multimedia should be stimulating and challenging, while providing students with a learning environment in which they can carry out investigations and have access to resources and tools for finding and manipulating data. PBL is an ideal approach to instructional design for multimedia, as it provides a scenario of problem presentation, investigation, resolution and presentation that can form the basis for the multimedia activities. Carried out effectively, this approach can enable high level learning, as the students are required to use the higher order mental processes of analysis, comparison and contrast, hypothesis and synthesis in order to propose a solution to the problem. Students need to take an active rather than a passive approach to learning when using this method. The theoretical basis for this approach is discussed. A case study of higher education course materials in grazing management is used to illustrate the way the PBL approach is used in the instructional design of the materials. Evaluation data from trials with students is included to illustrate the effectiveness of the materials for teaching and learning.


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How to Cite
McAlpine, I., & Clements, R. (2001). Problem based learning in the design of a multimedia project. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 17(2).