Web-based education as an alternative to face-to-face teaching is now being extended as an application to higher education. Much effort is undertaken to provide multimedia rich, attractive content to learners. While the use of multimedia technologies has a noticeable effect on students' learning, so does the selected teaching methodology Underpinned by the Constructivist approach, problem-based learning is one of the methods that could be applied in web-based learning environments The current study investigates the effects of problem-based learning on students' classroom community perceptions and their achievement. It focuses on the tertiary level course "Introduction to Computers" offered by the Department of Business Administration of the Distance Education Program at a higher education institution in Turkey. The results indicated that students who worked on problem-based projects felt much more 'connected' to other class members when compared to the control group They achieved higher scores in the post-tests although their online midterm and final examination scores did not indicate any difference between the groups. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.