Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 11, Issue 3–4, pp 341–355 | Cite as

Case study of a TeaM challenge game—e-PBL revisited

  • Márta Turcsányi-SzabóEmail author
  • Andrea Bedő
  • Zsuzsa Pluhár


Today’s societies place challenging demands on individuals, who are confronted with complexity in many parts of their lives. What do these demands imply for key competencies that individuals need to acquire? Defining such competencies can improve assessments of how well prepared young people and adults are for life’s challenges, as well as identify overarching goals for education systems and lifelong learning. Why are competencies so important today? The PISA 2000 results underline the importance of student engagement. PISA found strong relationships between students’ attitudes, learning strategies and performance. In addition to skills related to specific parts of the school curriculum, students need to be equipped with some general competencies to solve life’s challenges. As they progress to adulthood, they need to learn to be able to complete not just pre-rehearsed exercises, but must also be able to solve problems set in unfamiliar situations by thinking flexibly and pragmatically. PISA 2003 therefore made a first-time assessment of students’ problem-solving skills. Findings revealed that just under one in five 15-year-olds in OECD countries are ‘reflective, communicative problem solvers’ able to tackle difficult tasks and also just under one in five students have problem-solving skills that cannot even be classified as ‘basic problem solvers’. What could be the basic problem and what resolution can be sought for? There are several examples in learning theory that suggests promises which need to be revisited. Barr and Tagg [From teaching to learning. Change. November/December pp. 13–25. Retrieved June 15, 2006 from, 1995] defined the differences of paradigms in terms of learning theory comparing the notions of ‘teaching’ and that of ‘learning’, obviously expressing preferences to the later for its more in-depth effect on the learner. One of the main learner-centric approaches providing adequate positive results is problem based learning (PBL). This paper revisits the pedagogic theory behind PBL and examines it through a practical case study of a TeaM challenge game [TeaM challenge games:] with respect to its value in teacher education. It will concentrate on issues centred around:
  • Traces of use of higher order thinking skills—according to Bloom’s taxonomy.

  • Pedagogic pre-assumptions (designer’s side): requirements for design and supposed impact of students and teachers.

  • Assignment within teacher training (training side): as the task of setting up such game is performed within Informatics teacher training at ELTE University and games were launched into public education.

  • Pedagogic realities (facilitator’s side): how the teachers at a specific participant school viewed their role, the game, its impact and pedagogic value, its role in fulfilling the National Curriculum and its benefit for students.

  • Indirect impact (staff’s side): how the game has affected the whole staff at school and what impact it had of the attitude of teachers.

  • Results (evaluator’s side): how the game was evaluated in several ways and what new methods it has introduced into public education.


Problem Based Learning (PBL) Cross-thematic curriculum framework Primary school Lower secondary school Teacher training 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Márta Turcsányi-Szabó
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrea Bedő
    • 2
  • Zsuzsa Pluhár
    • 1
  1. 1.Informatics Methodology Group, TeaM labELTE UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Graduate School of Educational SciencesUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary

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