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Student-Centered Learning: A Challenging Odyssey in PBL

Student-Centered Learning: A Challenging Odyssey in PBL. George Watson ghw@udel.edu with contributions from Deborah Allen, Barbara Duch, Susan Groh, Valerie Hans, and Hal White. Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education. University of Delaware.

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Student-Centered Learning: A Challenging Odyssey in PBL

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  1. Student-Centered Learning:A Challenging Odyssey in PBL George Watsonghw@udel.edu with contributions from Deborah Allen, Barbara Duch,Susan Groh, Valerie Hans, and Hal White Institute for TransformingUndergraduate Education University of Delaware Fourth Annual Asia-Pacific PBL ConferenceHat Yai, Songkla, ThailandDecember 12, 2002 www.udel.edu/pbl/4-APC-PBL

  2. Delaware… Dela where?

  3. Who is here today?

  4. Institutional Types Represented? Show of hands, please: Medical/professional/graduate Undergraduate High school and earlier Teacher preparation and training Responsible for faculty development

  5. Class Settings Represented? fewer than 20 students. more than 100 students. My courses regularly have:

  6. Experience with PBL? and nothing else! as often as possible… as a novice practitioner. I use PBL in my classes

  7. Experience with Physics Instruction? I remember my physics instruction fondly! I cannot remember if I took physics. Who is Archimedes?

  8. What I know best I have taught… …the individuals learning the most in [teacher-centered classrooms] are the professors. They have reserved for themselves the very conditions that promote learning: actively seeking new information, integrating it with what is known, organizing it in a meaningful way, and having a chance to explain it to others. Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning, 2000

  9. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Knowledge is transmitted from professor to student. Learner-Centered Students construct knowledge through gathering and synthesizing information and integrating it with the general skills of inquiry, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.

  10. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Students passively receive information. Learner-Centered Students are actively involved.

  11. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Emphasis is on acquisition of knowledge outside the context in which it will be used. Learner-Centered Emphasis is on using and communicating knowledge effectively to address enduring and emerging issues and problems in real-life contexts.

  12. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Instructor’s role is to be the primary information giver. Learner-Centered Instructor’s role is to coach and facilitate.

  13. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Emphasis is on right answers. Learner-Centered Emphasis is on generating better questions and learning from errors.

  14. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Focus is on a single discipline. Learner-Centered Approach is compatible with interdisciplinary investigation.

  15. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Culture is competitive and individualistic. Learner-Centered Culture is cooperative, collaborative, and supportive.

  16. Comparison of Paradigms Teacher-Centered Only students are viewed as learners. Learner-Centered Instructors and students learn together.

  17. Why PBL?

  18. Characteristics Neededin College Graduates High level of communication skills Ability to define problems, gather and evaluate information, develop solutions Team skills -- ability to work with others Ability to use all of the above to address problems in a complex real-world setting Quality Assurance in Undergraduate Education (1994) Wingspread Conference,ECS, Boulder, CO.

  19. Recommendations from theCarnegie Foundation Make research-based learning the standard. Build inquiry-based learning throughout the four years. Link communication skills and course work. Use information technology effectively. Cultivate a sense of community. Boyer Commission Report

  20. What is Problem-Based Learning? PBL is an instructional method that challenges students to “learn to learn,” working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources.

  21. “The principal idea behind PBL is that the starting point for learning should be a problem, a query, or a puzzle that the learner wishes to solve.” Boud (1985)

  22. What are the CommonFeatures of PBL? Learning is initiated by a problem. Problems are based on complex, real-world situations. All information needed to solve problem is not initially given. Students identify, find, and use appropriate resources. Students work in permanent groups.

  23. PBL: The Process Students are presented with a problem. They organize ideas and previous knowledge. Students pose questions, defining what they know and do not know. Assign responsibility for questions, discuss resources. Reconvene, explore newly learned information, refine questions.

  24. The Problem-Based Learning Cycle (Assessment) Overview Problem, Project, or Assignment Mini-lecture Group Discussion Whole Class Discussion Preparation of Group “Product” Research Group Discussion

  25. Authentic PBLvs.???

  26. Outcomes? Moving away from: Are students getting the right answer? Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning, 2000

  27. Outcomes? Moving to: Can students demonstrate the qualities that we value in educated persons, the qualities we expect of college graduates?

  28. Outcomes? Moving to: Can students gather and evaluate new information, think critically, reason effectively, and solve problems?

  29. Outcomes? Moving to: Can [students] communicate clearly, drawing upon evidence to provide a basis for argumentation?

  30. Outcomes? Moving to: Do [students’] decisions and judgments reflect understanding of universal truths[/concepts] in the humanities and arts [etc.]?

  31. Outcomes? Moving to: Can [students] work respectfully and productively with others?

  32. Outcomes? Moving to: Do [students] have self-regulating qualities like persistence and time management that will help them reach long-term goals?

  33. The principal idea behind PBL is? A. PBL challenges students to learn to learn. B. Learning is initiated by a problem. C. Student-centered work in permanent groups.

  34. “The principal idea behind PBL is that the starting point for learning should be a problem, a query, or a puzzle that the learner wishes to solve.” Boud (1985)

  35. The principal idea behind PBL is? A. PBL challenges students to learn to learn. B. Learning is initiated by a problem. C. Student-centered work in permanent groups. Think/ pair/ share

  36. Faculty Developmentin PBL

  37. Institute for TransformingUndergraduate Education ITUE was created in 1997 to promote reform of undergraduate education through faculty development and course design and to infuse the institution with a successful model of instruction. Institute Fellows receive hands-on experience in employing active learning strategies and effective use of technology in their classrooms.

  38. Features of ITUE • Faculty-led training and interactions: • Week-long experiential workshop • Special follow-up sessions • Review and sharing sessions • Brown-bag lunches • Faculty mentoring faculty: • Leaders mentoring new Fellows • Experienced Fellows mentoring new Fellows • Experienced Leaders mentoring new Leaders • New Fellows working in groups A safe and collegial environment for learning

  39. Week-Long Sessions • Education Reform and • Active/Group Learning • Use of Technology • Experience It Yourself: • Problem-Based Learning • Getting Started: • The Syllabus • The Internet as a Learning Resource • Getting Started with Groups • Problems and Cases: • Writing Material for Your Course • Internet Resources for Your Course • Assessment in a Student-Centered Classroom • Building a Web Site for Your Course • Models of PBL for Large Classes

  40. ITUE Calendar January 13-14, 2003 (compressed session)Intro to PBL and Problem Writing June 16-20, 2003Intro to PBL and Learning Communities To be announcedUD PBL Campus Visitation Days Education ReformProfessor by professor…

  41. Trends and Directionsin PBL at UD

  42. Electronic Dissemination of PBL Materials

  43. Characteristics ofGood PBL Problems Relate to real-world, motivate students. Require decision-making or judgments. Multi-page, multi-stage. Designed for group-solving. Initial questions are open-ended to encourage discussion. Incorporate course content objectives. Provide challenges for higher-order thinking.

  44. But…where are the problems? Typical end-of-chapter problems can be solved by rote memorization, pattern-match, and plug-and-chug techniques Good problems should require students to make assumptions and estimates, develop models, and work through the model. A source of problems outside the commercial texts needs to be developed.

  45. PBL Clearinghouse An online database of PBL articles and problems. All material is peer-reviewed by PBL practitioners for content and pedagogy. All problems are supported by learning objectives and resources, teaching and assessment notes. Holdings are searchable by author, discipline, keywords, or full text. Fully electronic submission, review, and publication cycle. Controlled access by free user subscription, students excluded.

  46. A Very Brief Tour of thePBL Clearinghouse Logging in to the Clearinghouse. Applying to be a user. Searching and browsing the holdings. www.udel.edu/pblc

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