PBL is an approach that challenges students to learn through
engagement in a real problem. It is a format that simultaneously
develops both problem solving strategies and disciplinary
knowledge bases and skills by placing students in the active role
Groupwork helps develop learning
communities in which students feel
comfortable developing new ideas and
raising questions about the material.
PBL is characterized by a
teachers as “facilitators
rather than disseminators”
PBL is an effective method for improving students’
problem-solving skills. Students will make strong
connections between concepts when they learn facts
and skills by actively working with information rather
than by passively receiving information.
Steps two through five may be
repeated and reviewed as new
information becomes available and
redefines the problem.
1. Explore the issues: The teacher introduces
an "ill-structured" problem to the students.
Discuss the problem statement and list its
significant parts. You may feel that you don't
know enough to solve the problem but that
is the challenge!
2. List "What do we know?" What
do you know to solve the problem?
This includes both what you
actually know and what strengths
and capabilities each team
3. Develop, and write out, the
problem statement in your own
words: A problem statement should
come from your/the group's analysis
of what you know, and what you will
need to know to solve it.
4. List out possible solutions List them
all, then order them from strongest to
weakest Choose the best one, or most
likely to succeed.
5. List actions to be taken with a timeline:
What do we have to know and do to solve
the problem? How do we rank these
possibilities? How do these relate to our
list of solutions? Do we agree?
6. List "What do we need to know?"
Research the knowledge and data that will
support your solution You will need to
information to fill in missing gaps.
7. Write up your solution with its
supporting documentation, and submit it.
You may need to present your findings
and/or recommendations to a group or
8. Review your performance This debriefing
exercise applies both to individuals and the
group. Take pride in what you have done well;
learn from what you have not done well. Thomas
Edison took pride in unsuccessful experiments as
part of his journey to successful outcomes!