Massey University has been developing
case-based or scenario-based authoring and presentation software
since the late 1980s commencing with Diagnosis
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).
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.
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
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. http://www.apsnet.org/education/InstructorCommunication/TeachingArticles/stewart/default.htm
(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