Educational Development and Research Services
Deakin University, Burwood Campus
A problem-based learning (PBL) development in an undergraduate course in nursing needed to anticipate the resources students would identify to meet their learning needs, a key element in the PBL process. The resources identified by teachers included textual materials which enabled the students to explore professional themes, concepts and issues embedded within a problem-based case scenario. The question arose as to the principles to be applied in determining the quantity of text-based educational resources to be made available and the medium by which they were to be delivered to a large student body requiring access at about the same time on three campuses.
This paper describes a pilot project to test the feasibility of delivering these resources, mainly comprising journal articles, by electronic publishing on floppy disk in a FileMaker Pro database complemented by a front-end bibliographic database generating citation details. The PBL environment is considered in relation to the appropriateness and manner of making resources available in this way. The two interlocking databases developed using generic database software are described, as are aspects of referencing capabilities, author title and subject searches, and the display of text and graphics. Although feasible, the conclusion is drawn that there are too many inherent difficulties in this particular development, but other possible avenues for mounting textual educational resources on floppy disk do emerge.