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  • Problem Based Learning (PBL)

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    In Problem-Based learning, "the problem drives the learning." Students are given a problem to solve that requires gathering new knowledge before they can solve it. The problem is posed before the learning in order to motivate learning and enhance long-term retention and application to new material. The links below describe the process for using this approach and provide numerous examples in all disciplines.



    General Resources

    "Problem-Based Learning," Speaking of Teaching, Stanford University Newsletter on Teaching, Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 2001
    Describes the features of PBL and the process for using it, including assessment.

    "Problem-based Learning, especially in the context of large classes," Don Woods (McMaster University).
    An overview of PBL with examples of using PBL in a chemical engineering program. Links to an online book about PBL.

    Leap into Problem-based Learning (University of Adelaide, Au).
    This link provides a downloadable 69-page PDF document designed to introduce PBL and guide instructors new to PBL through all the stages of developing, using, and assessing PBL in their courses. This in-depth handbook would also be helpful to the more experienced PBL user.

    Problem-Based Learning (University of Delaware).
    A comprehensive, award-winning site with links to the PBL Clearinghouse; sample PBL problems, courses, and syllabi; and other PBL sites.

    Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse (University of Delaware).
    Free registration to the PBL Clearinghouse gives the user access to a wide range of PBL problems and articles.

    Problem-Based Learning (University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey Center for Teaching Excellence)
    Maintains a fully annotated collection of links to PBL sites in the following categories: Introduction, Methods & Tools, Learning Issues, Medline Searches, PBL Centers, and Additional Resources.

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