The Global Village Playground (GVP) was a capstone learning experience designed to address institutional assessment needs while providing an integrated and authentic learning experience for students aimed at fostering complex problem solving, as well as critical and creative thinking. In the GVP, students work on simulated and real-world problems as a design team tasked with developing an alternate reality game that makes an impact on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Researchers employed a qualitative case study approach to evaluate what aspects of this problem-based, hybrid, course design students found most and least beneficial to their learning. Findings suggest strategies for designing technology-based learning environments to support complex problem solving. Specific recommendations pertain to scaffolding team-based problem solving, particularly concept development processes, interdependence among team members, and group self-organization.



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