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This brief paper will discuss the harmonizing role of technology and interaction in a qualitative study on blended problem-based learning (PBL) within the context of academic development in higher education. Within academic development, and as both designers and tutors in blended PBL, it is important to seek best practices for how to combine instructional strategies in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments that take advantage of the strengths of each and avoid their weaknesses. A qualitative study of the lived experiences of 17 academic staff participants in a blended problem-based learning module was considered likely to provide a much-needed analysis of current thinking and practice on the potential of interaction in this form of professional academic development in higher education. Specific aspects of interaction (technical, peer, content and the learning experience) within blended problem-based learning tutorials are analysed to provides research-based information about the realities of delivering a PBL programme using technology. The study will argue that the intersection of PBL and learning technologies can offer different ways of teaching and learning that require exploration and reflection of pedagogy and technology as in integrated approach that must work effectively together. The synergy from the collaborative blended PBL approach in this module could result in the coherent and comprehensive provision of training, support and research work throughout higher education institutions.
Donnelly, R. (2009). Interaction and Transformation in Virtual Problem-based Learning Communities. CELDA Conference, Rome, November, 2009