Project Archive: eCDF 510 (2005-2006)
Tools for Delivering Scenario-Based E-learning both Locally and Across the Internet
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Storyboarding and Delivering PBLi scenarios
 What's New!! (02/4/2009)


Home >History

Massey University has been developing case-based or scenario-based authoring and presentation software since the late 1980s commencing with Diagnosis (Stewart, 1992).

Collaboration with the University of Queensland through the 1990s saw improved versions of this concept resulting in Diagnosis for Crop Problems, a teaching tool which is still available and in use today (Stewart et al, 1995. Stewart, 2004).

From this work, Massey University independently developed CHALLENGE, a program similar to the above but one which could be used any subject domain, not just plant health (Stewart and Bartrum, 2002). However CHALLENGE, although useful, was client-based. It was felt a server-based version of the software was needed for wide scale adoption of this form of scenario-based training in distance learning, as it would address security and course management issues.

In 2004 the Centre for Biological Information Technology (CBIT), University of Queensland, Massey's past collaborator in this area, independently developed a similar generic authoring and delivery tool (called PBL-Interactive). This was server-based and had other improved features. Rather than further developing CHALLENGE, it was felt that a more sensible use of resources would be to start with what had been already achieved. CBIT therefore was contracted to develop a specific version of PBL-Interactive for the ecdf project.

Having software which can author and deliver problem-based scenarios is one thing, but providing assistance on how scenario-based exercises are planned, used in the curriculum, and embedded in courses is also required. Some knowledge in this had been gained over the years and this experience, supported by research findings, was used to develop training materials and workshops to accompany these programs. Furthermore, a number of quality scenarios were developed covering a wide range of subject domains. These act as exemplars and possible templates for future scenario development.

A spin-off from the CHALLENGE work, CHALLENGE FRAP (Form for Recording the Analysis of Problems), also appeared useful in problem-based learning. Project funding has allowed this program to be refined, and it now includes a manual.

Both tools can be used for recording behavioural data, which is useful for research into problem-based learning.


Stewart, T.M. 1992. Diagnosis. A Microcomputer-based teaching-aid: Plant Disease 76: 644-647

Stewart, T.M., Blackshaw, B.P., Duncan, S., Dale M.L., Zalucki M.P., and Norton, G.A. 1995. Diagnosis: a novel, multimedia, computer-based approach to training crop protection practitioners. Crop Protrotection 14: 241-246.

Stewart, T.M. 2004. Teaching the art and science of plant disease diagnosis: Training students with DIAGNOSIS for CROP PROBLEMS. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI:10.1094/PHI-T-2004-0426-01. (19th Nov. 2004)

Stewart, T.M., and Bartrum, P. 2002. CHALLENGE. An authoring tool for Problem-Based Scenarios delivered alone, or over the WWW. IEEE International Conference on Computers in Education, Auckland, N.Z. Los Alamitos, Calif. : IEEE Computer Society: 197-201

Latest Developments

Click the following for final reports on..

- PBL-interactive
- Challenge FRAP

Delivery of Outputs
- Institutional Visits
- Web Download

- Support/Updates

- View PBLi Scenarios

(Updated 2nd April 2009)


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