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1. Explore the issues:Your teacher introduces an "ill-structured" problem to you. 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! You will have to gather information and learn new concepts, principles, or skills as you engage in the problem-solving process. 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 member has.Consider or note everyone's input, no matter how strange it may appear: it could hold a possibility! 3. Write out the problem statement: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. You will need: a written statement, the agreement of your group on the statement, feedback on this statement from your instructor. (This may be optional, but is a good idea) Note: The problem statement is often revisited and edited as new information is discovered, or "old" information is discarded. 4. List out possible solutionsList 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? List "What do we need to know?"Research the knowledge and data that will support your solution. You will need information to fill in missing gaps. Discuss possible resources. Experts, books, web sites, etc. 6. 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 your classmates. This should include the problem statement, questions, data gathered, analysis of data, and support for solutions or recommendations based on the data analysis: in short, the process and outcome. 7. Presenting and defending your conclusions:The goal is to present not only your conclusions, but the foundation upon which they rest. Prepare to state clearly both the problem and your conclusion. Summarize the process you used, options considered, and difficulties encountered. Convince, not overpower.Bring others to your side, or to consider without prejudice your supporting documentation and reason. Help others learn, as you have learned. If challenged, and you have an answer, present it clearly; and if you don't have an answer, acknowledge it and refer it for more consideration. 8. Review your performanceThis 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! 9. Celebrate your work!
What will the first stage look like? What open-ended questions can be asked? What learning issues will be identified? How will the problem be structured? How long will the problem be? How many class periods will it take to complete? Will students be given subsequent information as they work through the problem? What resources will the students need? What end product will the students produce? Write a teacher's guide detailing the instructional plans on using the problem in the course. If the course is a medium- to large-size class, a combination of mini-lectures, whole-class discussions, and small group work with regular reporting may be necessary. The final step is to identify key resources for students. Students need to learn to identify and utilize learning resources on their own, but it can be helpful if the instructor indicates a few good sources to get them started. Through PBL learners are progressively given more and more responsibility for their own education and become increasingly independent of the teacher for their education.
Problem Based Learning
To impart knowledge & skills
To share ideas and concepts
To encourage, motivate and inspire
To promote critical & creative thinking
To create autonomous learners
Teach Memorize Assess
Problem Based Learning
What ails the police stations in the state today?
Share with each other (2+2 minutes)
Share with class
What is a Problem?
You have a fever.
Is that a disease or symptom?
Your office is messy.
Is that the problem?
Why and Who?
Should we solve problems?
Who should solve problems?
Why should students solve
Can problem solving be taught?
What is PBL?
A student-centred, inquiry-based learning method
in which students are stimulated to learn to learn
reflection and reasoning,
problem solving techniques,
self-directed learning (SDL) strategies,
team participation skills
to solve real world, open-ended problems.
Process of PBL
Solve the problem
Develop an action plan
(consider options, plan events)
List possible solutions and
choose the best option
Determine & gather
what is needed
List what you
Skills Developed in PBL
to think critically
to analyse and solve real-world problems
to find, evaluate, and use appropriate
learning resources, knowledge and skills
to work cooperatively in teams
to learn effective communication skills
to become independent learners
to hold leadership roles
Good PBL Problems
motivate to explore comprehension of concepts
incorporate the content objectives
connect to previous courses / knowledge
suit the level of complexity
lend to collaborative learning, reasoned discussion
open-ended and engaging
from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines,
journals, books, textbooks, and television / movies
Characteristics of PBL
• Authentic problems drive the curriculum
• Problems do not test skills, but develop skills
(communication, problem-solving, responsibility, shared learning)
• Problems are fuzzy
• No fixed formula - dynamic process, multiple
• Self directed students - teachers facilitate
• Authentic, seamless, performance based
• Small groups, specific roles
Advantages to Students
Builds communication skills
Reinforces interpersonal and leadership skills
Augments empowered self-learning
Improves problem solving, critical thinking skills
Nurtures research skills
Motivation to solve problems
becomes motivation to learn
Advantages for Teachers
Teaching becomes exciting
Enriches the teacher-student relationship
Augments student-centred learning
Connects disciplinary knowledge to real world
Heightens in-depth comprehension
Limitations of PBL
(more staff, more space, more facilities)
Inspirational role of instructor limited
Needs attitudinal, structural changes
Grading students is difficult
Role of Instructor
• Support, guide, and monitor the learning process
(Refrain from spoon feeding. Become a “guide on the side,’ not a
“source of solutions” or a “sage on the stage”)
• Hold brainstorming sessions, allow alternative views
• Anchor all learning to ill-structured, authentic problems
• Promote peer feedback, assess authentically
• Enable learner ownership for the overall problem
• Redesign learning environment
Is it a problem/task?
Is it meaningful and interesting?
Is it related to real-life?
Does it involve collaboration and
Is finding a solution a priority?
Does it allow multiple solutions?
Can the outcome be assessed?
Problem Solving Activities
Have you had any professional problems?
Identify the most pressing one of them.
Discuss in groups, invite solutions, choose the best
Share your ideas. What is the best solution? Why?
Review language use
(you could, you should, you may, you need to, why
don’t you?, this worked for me, try this)
I have a professional problem, what should I do?