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Problem-Based Learning and Learning Analytics: How to combine?

About This Course "PBL and LA: How to combine?"

This open online course will introduce you to the concept of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) first. We will compare two highly successful PBL approaches – the PBL 3.0 approach based on the model from the Aalborg University, Denmark, and the PBL approach developed at the Maastricht University, Netherlands. Through literature and also live presentations of representatives of the two institutions you will learn about their PBL visions and practices. Furthermore, you will be introduced to the concept of Learning Analytics (LA) and will learn how PBL can be supported with LA. This online course will take four weeks and will include an opportunity to define and select a related project with online collaboration and follow up in small groups.

The course will be offered in combination with an online community. The online community will allow you to connect with all other people interested in PBL and LA. You can build your personal network, share experiences and latest news as well as discuss practical questions and implementations. You decide if you prefer to define and create your personal network or to select and join an existing network at local, regional or global level.

That is a unique opportunity: We are combining a live Online course and an Online community!
Watch our welcome video on YouTube!

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We are looking forward to our online communication and collaboration!

Learning Objectives

In the live Online Course you will develop a general understanding of the concept of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and get insights in the learning principles that underpin it. In the first week, you will study examples of PBL practice at different institutions (mainly universities) with the help of open sources, you will get an overview of the benefits of PBL as seen by different stakeholders and you will learn about the challenges of PBL and implementation of PBL into the educational practice. Furthermore, you will get in the second week a more in-depth view of PBL approaches realized at two particular universities, namely the University of Aalborg from Denmark and the Maastricht University from The Netherlands. You will learn what experts from both universities consider important in PBL and how the approach develops and evolves in different settings. In the third week of this course, you will also learn about the concept of Learning Analytics (LA) and will be able to define the most important dimensions of LA, LA dashboards and other LA tools. You will become aware about learning analytics dashboards and know what tools and methods are available for learning analytics. Finally, you will be able in the fourth week to form and underpin your own opinion on how these two concepts can be combined in a common framework and what the implications can be of integrating LA in PBL implementations.


There are no prerequisites or requirements of competences, skills or knowledge for you to take this course: You only need internet access and interest in the topic!

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Christian M. Stracke

Dr. Christian M. Stracke is ICDE Chair in OER and Associate Professor for Open Education at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) ( In addition he is Advisory Professor at the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, and Adjunct Professor at the Korea National Open University (KNOU) in Seoul. As an internationally recognized expert and innovator, his main working fields are Open Education, technology-enhanced learning, educational policies and philosophy, learning innovations and quality, impact assessment and competence modelling. He holds a PhD in Economics (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and a Magister Artium (M.A.) in Educational Sciences from the University of Bonn (Germany). He is senior researcher and strategy consultant with international reputation and numerous references for learning policies, innovations and quality in all learning sectors. He is author and editor of numerous scientific books, articles, handbook chapters, and standards on learning innovations and quality. Many research projects (100+, > 50 Mio EUR) were and are managed and supervised as coordinator and quality manager by him. His latest news online: and on twitter: @ChrMStracke.

Course Staff Image #2

Dr. Olga Firssova

Dr. Olga Firssova is an Assistant Professor at the Open University of the Netherlands, Welten Institute Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology. She holds Ph.D in Social Science and a MSc. in Educational Science and Technology of the University Twente. Firssova has been involved in course and curriculum design, quality assurance and evaluation projects at the OU for 15 years. She is teaching various courses at the Master of Learning Sciences program at the faculty of Psychology and Educational Science and supervises Master theses. Research interests and areas of expertise include course and curriculum design, formative assessment, academic writing, design for inquiry-based learning with technologies, design of and knowledge construction in (Massive) Open Online courses. She participated in multi-year EU-funded projects weSPOT (working environment for inquiry-based learning) and EMMA (European Multiple MOOC Aggregator) and is now involved in European Erasmus+ projects Elite (inquiry e-learning for teacher professional development), OpenVM (virtual mobility in the frame of open education) and PBL 3.0 (learning analytics in design of problem-based learning).

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How to register for this MOOC PBLLA18?

Just click on the button "ENROLL IN PBLLA18" on the top of this page.


This Online Course and Community is offered by the PBL 3.0 consortium, see: