The usefulness of PBL in an web enabled environment

It is not an uncommon experience to loose focus and interest  in a lecture in a typical classroom setting even if the subject matter under consideration is very interesting. In science and technology, often a concept is best understood when seeing something happening and analyzing it. The great scientist and teacher of our time, Richard. P. Feynman said nature does not care what a physicist think. So the best way way to understand it is to poke  it , observe it and then draw meaningful conclusions. However such a learning process is complemented by lectures and guidance from the teacher. This is the way PBL works. To solve a problem, It is very important to identify the stuff that we know and the stuffs we don’t know.  Here comes the usefulness of internet. In today’s world, information is on the web. If we can identify what to know to bridge our knowledge gap for a certain problem, half the battle is won! Internet can help us do that. PBL would not have been such an effective tool without the internet. The access to the collective wisdom enables us to tackle problems directly and help innovative thinking.  Major universities like University of Leicester now incorporate PBL in their physics program which is very well received by the students.


However, for countries where internet access to all the students are not available, this approach will be a bit difficult to implement.