Methodology

The project was organized in three phases:

In Phase 1 we reviewed contemporary research and practice with regards to the implementation of PBL pedagogy and the nature of information spaces in higher education internationally.

In Phase 2, we designed multimodal information spaces for PBL. We then focused on in-class explorations through which the PBL information spaces are demonstrated and evaluated. Overall, we envisioned PBL information spaces that allowed the convergence of various interactions and interface paradigms, made possible with the creative integration of a variety of physical and digital elements available in most university classrooms. We aimed to support student fertile discussions, motivate physical interaction and collaboration around the construction of group artifacts and encourage student post experience reflection, all of which are important aspects of professional competencies in all disciplines.

In Phase 3, the project consolidated with a practical framework comprising the construction of multimodal information spaces for PBL and a set of implementation exemplars that can be disseminated and re-used by other institutions in Cyprus, Slovenia, Europe, and worldwide.

Overall, the project revealed students’ positive experiences in the creative multimodal information space and seamless interaction across tools and spaces that allowed them to engage in collaborative work inside and outside the classroom. The physical and digital tools in the environment coupled with the affordance of Facebook as a record-keeping and communication tool were found to be integral and supportive of the problem-based activity. The study should be valuable for those teaching and designing a similar course, as they can use the findings to improve how their course is enhanced and facilitated.

  • Facebook can support problem-based activity both during and in-between meetings, as a record-keeping and communication tool.
  • A multimodal learning environment can be taken-up and endorsed by learners in an HCI university course.
  • Creative use of affordable technologies can enrich the learning environment and serve problem-based activity at various stages.
  • Multimodal learning environments and “blended” interactions across digital and physical tools are worth exploring further in various contexts and domains.