Module 2: Practice and Feedback – Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning Introduction

Problem-Based Learning Introduction (2.1.0) (slides)

Adopting problem-based learning (PBL)-considerations for use in the classroom to prepare STEM “practitioners” to deal with current and emerging issues and creating a cooperative learning environment. Review of goals for the PBL module. Hear from a STEM doctoral student discuss problems or issues in chemistry that could be developed for PBL assignments to engage students.

Discussion: What is a current or emerging issue/problem in your discipline?

What is Problem-Based learning?

What is Problem-Based Learning (2.2.1) (slides)

What do students learn through using PBL and how does PBL differ from subject-based learning? Hear from Dr. Mark Ryan about: (a) What is PBL?, (b) Why he uses it?, and (c) How he uses it in STEM classes?

Discussion: What is your experience with PBL and what was or could be challenging with PBL? Also, what is one positive attribute of using PBL in the STEM classroom? Post in the discussion below.

Why Use Problem-Based learning?

Why use Problem-Based Learning? (2.3.1) (slides)

Emulating problems and controversies in the classroom can provide students with experiences learning how to learn new information, use critical thinking skills to address complex issues and practice their communication skills.

Problem-Based Learning in Your Classroom

Setting up with Backwards Design (2.4.1) (slides)

Aligning Objectives for cases and controversies with assessments and classroom activities and content-don’t forget about the backward design and Bloom’s taxonomy! Dr. Cori Fata-Hartley discusses the stages of the backward design.

The PBL Process (2.4.2)

The process of problem-based learning is presented in context of how STEM professionals address problems in their respective disciplines. This approach to teaching and learning is compared to what is often referred to as “subject-based learning”. Dr. Campa also discusses the use of “constructive controversies” vs. “decision cases” for implementing PBL in a course.

Example Case and Controversy in Ecology (2.4.3)

Dr. Campa introduces an example of a constructive controversy on “Managing Maasai Mara National Reserve for Ecological Resources and Tourism” and, in comparison, a decision case on bovine tuberculosis in wildlife.

Planning for Controversy (2.4.4) (slides)

Decision case studies and controversies-steps for developing and implementing a constructive controversy, what materials will you need and how to use them to meet teaching and learning objectives. A planning worksheet is available for students to develop a controversy for the classroom.

Budgeting Time for Controversy (2.4.5) (slides)

How to budget time for conducting a constructive controversy in a class period (Note: See the Controversy Planning Sheet). One example-conducting a controversy in a 50 minute class period using “active lecturing” and informal cooperative learning groups.

Recommendations for Developing Cases and Controversies (2.4.6) (slides)

Recommendations for introducing and using case studies and controversies to meet various teaching and learning objectives. References and resources are also provided.