You are here:

A Case Study About the Implementation of Problem-Based Learning and Mobile Technologies in Ecuador

, Concordia University, Canada ; , UOIT, Canada ; , Universidad Tecnica de Ambato, Ecuador ; , , Concordia University, Canada ; , UOIT, Canada

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada ISBN 978-1-939797-16-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


This paper examines the first steps of the implementation of problem-based learning and mobile technologies with a group of professors from the Universidad Técnica de Ambato in Ecuador. First, we present the context of the Ecuadorian university professors and their incitation to improve teaching approaches and to integrate technologies in the classroom. Second, we present a brief literature review about the benefits and challenges of problem-based learning and the adoption of technologies in developing countries. Third, we present the methodology we adopted to collect the data for this study. Fourth, we present the data of the first year of this case study, which includes entry interviews, a focus group and reflective interviews that were conducted at the end of the first year. The preliminary results show that once the professors developed basic technical skills, they were able to focus on the pedagogy and to innovate using the principles of problem-based learning.


Davidson, A.L., vanOostveen, R., Suarez, W., Naffi, N., Arabuli, N. & Desjardins, F. (2015). A Case Study About the Implementation of Problem-Based Learning and Mobile Technologies in Ecuador. In S. Carliner, C. Fulford & N. Ostashewski (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia 2015--World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 1049-1056). Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 10, 2018 from .

View References & Citations Map


  1. Black, K.W. (2013, February 13). Correa’s and Ecuador’s success drive The Economist nuts. New Economic Perspectives. Available at
  2. Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18 (1), 32-42.
  3. CEAACES (2013). Evaluación de universidades 2013. Retrieved from Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  4. Cruz-Flores, R., & Lopex-Mortero, G. (2010). A framework for educational collaborative activities based on mobile devices. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 4(3), 9–18.
  5. Davidson, A.-L., & Desjardins, F. (2011). Vers lʼidentification dʼune relation entre les representations de la pédagogie et de lʼusage des TIC chez des formateurs dʼenseignants. Revue Canadienne de lʼÉducation, 34(3), 47-67.
  6. Fogarty, R. (1997). Problem based learning and other curriculum models for the multiple intelligences classroom. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.
  7. Haslett, L. (2001). McMaster University introduces problem-based learning in medical education. In Schugurensky, D. (Ed.), History of education: Selected moments of the 20th century. Retrieved from
  8. Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos (2011). Uso de tecnología en Ecuador. Retrieved from
  9. Ismail, R., Baharum, H., & Idrus, R. (2010). Simplistic is the ingredient for mobile learning. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 4(3), 4–8.
  10. Kurubacak, G. (2007). Identifying research priorities and needs in mobile learning technologies for distance education: A delphi study. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 19(3), 216–227.
  11. Kurz, T.L., Batarelo, I., & Middleton, J.A. (2009). Examining elementary preservice teachersʼ perspectives concerning curriculum themes for video case integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(4), 461-485. .
  12. Majumder, M., & Basu, P.N. (2010). Usability study of personalized learning in mobile learning environment. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 4(3), 25–29.
  13. Metcalf, D., & Marco, J. (2006). MLearning: Mobile learning and performance in the palm of your hand. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
  14. Ministerio de Educación de Ecuador (2013). Objetivos. Retrieved from,W.(2012,March18).‘Garageuniversities’arebracingforschoolreform.TheNewYorkTimes.Retrievedfrom
  15. Pedretti, E.G., Bencze, L., Hewitt, J., Romkey, L., & Jivraj, A. (2008). Promoting issues-based STSE perspectives in science teacher education: Problems of identity and ideology. Science& Education, 17(8-9), 941-960. Http://
  16. Savin-Baden, M., & Howell Major, C. (2010). Foundations of problem-based learning. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press and McGraw-Hill Education
  17. Smith, R. (2008). GoMobile! Maximising the potential of mobile technologies for learners with disabilities. London, UK: Learning Skills Network.
  18. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage
  19. Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (2011). Cobertura y calidad de servicios. Retrieved from The Economist (2009, August 20). Ecuador's education reforms: Correa's curriculum. The president seeks to improve ailing schools and universities. The Economist. Retrieved from
  20. UNESCO (2012). ICT in education in Latin America and the Caribbean. A regional analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness. Retrieved from Urigüen, M. (2011). The education in Ecuador [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
  21. VanOostveen, R., Desjardins, F., Bullock, S., DiGisueppe, M., & Robertson, L. (2010). Towards a reconceptualization of online teacher professional learning: Problem-based learning objects (PBLOs). In World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia& Telecommunications (pp. 1579-1588). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of
  22. Wang, M., Shen, S., Novak, D., & Pan, X. (2008). The impact of mobile learning on students’ learning behaviours and performance: Report from a large blended classroom. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(4), 673–695.
  23. Yin, R.K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods (1st Ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
  24. Zhu, E., & Kaplan, M. (2002). Technology and teaching. In W.J. McKeachie (Ed.), McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (pp. 204–

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact