Fischer, Frank; Troendle, Pamela; Mandl, Heinz
Using the Internet to improve university education. Problem-oriented web-based learning with MUNICS.
In: Interactive Learning Environments, Vol. 11, No. 3: pp. 193-214
Up to this point, university education has largely remained unaffected by the developments of novel approaches to web-based learning. The paper presents a principled approach to the design of problem-oriented, web-based learning at the university level. The principles include providing authentic contexts with multimedia, supporting collaborative knowledge construction, making thinking visible with dynamic visualisation, quick access to content resources via information and communication technologies, and flexible support by tele-tutoring. These principles are used in the MUNICS learning environment, which is designed to support students of computer science to apply their factual knowledge from the lectures to complex real-world problems. For example, students may model the knowledge management in an educational organisation with a graphical simulation tool. Some more general findings from a formative evaluation study with the MUNICS prototype are reported and discussed. For example, the students' ignorance of the additional content resources is discussed in the light of the well-known finding of insufficient use of help systems in software applications.