Problem Based Learning Althea Maduramente TLC Instructional Support
WhY PBL? • Problem solving is a necessary requirement in life and does not result from memorizing material or mirroring other people • Cooperative learning is as ecologically valid as independent mastery • Has been effective in engaging the learners in a traditional classroom environment. • Burch(2000) notes that “according to recent research, PBL is the most effective technique for students to learn, apply, integrate, and retain information” • Miersonand Freiert (2004) report that PBL expands traditional classroom roles and is ideal for training programs as well as single training sessions, including addressing complex cross-functional topics by seeking solutions to real-world problems in a cooperative fashion.
WhYPBL? • One of PBL’s greatest attributes is that it motivates and engages the learner by presenting challenging and relevant problems (Barrows 2002). • Presenting a problem with a scenario, forming of teams, collaborating on the problem, and reflecting on the overall results are just parts of the general PBL • Also could include case study, guided design, cooperative learning, role-playing, simulation, and games.
What is PBL? • Introduced first in medical education at McMaster University in Canada (Burch 2000) • An instructional method characterized by the use of problems to encourage students to acquire knowledge and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Ribeiro & Mizukami 2005) • Focused experiential learning organized around the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems.
What is PBL? • Engages students as stakeholders immersed in a messy, ill-structured, problematic situation. • Organizes curriculum around this holistic problem, enabling student learning in relevant and connected ways. • Creates a learning environment in which teachers coach student thinking and guide student inquiry, facilitating learning toward deeper levels of understanding while entering the inquiry as a co-investigator.
What Makes Problem-Based Learning Different? • Student as Problem Solver • Defines problems and conditions for resolution • Establishes a context for learning • Pursues meaning and understanding • Becomes a self-directed learner
What Makes Problem-Based Learning Different? • Teacher as Cognitive Coach • Models interest and enthusiasm for learning • Coaches student thinking • Exposes effective learning strategies • Nurtures an environment that supports open inquiry
What Makes Problem-Based Learning Different? • Curriculum as Experience • Fosters active learning • Supports knowledge construction • Integrates content areas • Provides relevance
What Makes Problem-Based Learning Different? • Problem as Curriculum Organizer • Highlights a need for inquiry • Attracts and sustains student interest • Connects school learning and the real world • Enables meaningful learning
What is the Impact of PBL on Learners? • Increases Motivation • Engages students in learning through the attraction or pull of problem dissonance or tension. • They take on more and delve deeper as they make a personal investment in the outcome of their inquiry. • Reference: Torp, L. & Sage, S. (2002). Problems as Possibilities: PBL for K-16 Education. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 21-23.
What is the Impact of PBL on Learners? • Makes Learning Relevant to the Real World • Offers students an obvious answer to: • Why they need to learn this information? • What connection does school work have to the real world?” • Reference: Torp, L. & Sage, S. (2002). Problems as Possibilities: PBL for K-16 Education. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 21-23.
What is the Impact of PBL on Learners? • Promotes Higher Order Thinking • Coupled with cognitive coaching strategies, the ill-structured problem scenario calls upon critical and creative thinking • Students gather information significant to the problem and assess its credibility and validity. • In bringing the problem to acceptable closure with evidence to support decisions, students meet high benchmarks of thinking. • Reference: Torp, L. & Sage, S. (2002). Problems as Possibilities: PBL for K-16 Education. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 21-23.
What is the Impact of PBL on Learners? • Encourages Learning How to Learn • Promotes metacognition and self-regulated learning because students themselves • Generate strategies for defining problems • Gather information • Analyze data • Build and test hypotheses • Comparing strategies with those of other students and mentors • Share methods and conclusions. • Reference: Torp, L. & Sage, S. (2002). Problems as Possibilities: PBL for K-16 Education. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 21-23.
What is the Impact of PBL on Learners? • Requires Authenticity • Engages student learning in ways that are similar to real world situations • Assesses learning in ways that demonstrate understanding and not mere replication • Reference: Torp, L. & Sage, S. (2002). Problems as Possibilities: PBL for K-16 Education. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 21-23.
Some Decisions • Whole curriculum • Meet in small teams (5-6 students) • Do not receive lectures or tutorials • Hybrid model • Inclusion of fixed resources sessions, such as lectures and tutorials designed to support the students • Module • Single or a few sessions as part of the curriculum • Semester • As the major teaching method
Understand the Problem • Meet the Problem • The problematic situation has common characteristics • Ill-structured and messy. • Often changes with the addition of new information. • Not solved easily or with a specific formula. • Does not result in one right answer. • Ideas for PBL scenarios can come from almost anywhere • Literature, television programming, news programs or newspapers articles. • Scenarios can be created by changing traditional lessons into problem-based inquiry learning. • These lessons should be aligned with the curriculum and embedded with desired learning outcomes.
Understand the Problem • When creating or identifying scenarios consider the following components: • A loosely structured case or prompt embedded with links to desired learning outcomes i.e. standards (national, state or local). • Small group cooperative learning is best, but find the model that works best for you. • Use hands-on kits and instructional materials – to test hypotheses and generate new facts based on scientific experimentation. • Learning is very open. • If students have an idea that is wrong – it’s OK if they spend time investigating it
Understand the Problem • Identify What they Know and Need to Know • Generate lists • Define the Problem Statement • State the HYPOTHESIS • List TASKS to be completed • List FACTORS for successful completion
Explore the Curriculum • Gather Information • Plan how to gather information from multiple and varied sources • Give ideas or resources as a starting point • Share Information • Share information with their group and discuss its relevance to the problem • Learners share information but personally and individually construct knowledge. • Discussion and challenge expose and test thinking. • Generate Possible Solutions • Synthesize information to generate several possible solutions
Resolve the Problem • Determine Best Fit Solution • Develop a graphic organizer to find a solution which fits the factors in their problem statement • Present the Solution • Present to and get feedback from a real world stakeholder in the problem • Debrief • The presentations emphasizes learning from others • The problem and process emphasizes the curriculum and group skills learned