Problem-based Learning

Example from SST 111-112
Founder’s Seminar
Founder’s students’ video
Problem-based Learning: As Learners and as Teachers
Julie G. McIntyre & Sybillyn Jennings
May College 2013
This session offers a very brief overview of the range of approaches
referred to as problem-based learning. We will provide examples of
using problem-based learning in different classes and give participants
a chance to try this sort of inquiry themselves. Then we will turn to the
other sense of problem-based learning; namely, how to address
students’ problems in preparing for exams and organizing their ideas in
writing papers. Again, we will offer some examples of methods that
support students in their learning.
From Problem-solving
To Problem-based Learning
Q: Why do we, teachers, give our students, learners, problems to work on?
Q: How do we decide which problems to give which students?
Q: How do we design problems that will improve practice?
Q: How do we design problems that will advance and deepen thought?
A Family of Approaches
Patient diagnosis
Case-based learning
the training
of thought
Problem-based learning
Project-based learning
Inquiry learning
Ad quem
Ab quo
“Thinking as reflective operation reveals...
(a) a state of perplexity, hesitation, doubt
(b) an act of search or investigation directed
toward bringing to light further facts which serve
to corroborate or to nullify the suggested belief. “
“...but if we are willing to extend the meaning of the word problem to whatever—
no matter how slight and commonplace in character—perplexes and challenges
the mind so that it makes belief at all uncertain, there is a genuine problem or
question involved in this experience....”
John Dewey How We Think
1910, ch. 1, p. 9
Example from ENG/PSY 237
Principles & Applications of Language
Founder’s Seminar
April 2013
A Sample Inquiry to Try
Does your discipline use the notion of “stage”?
If it does, what problem or problems is the idea
of stage working to solve?
If it does not, why is the idea of stage not needed?
Evidence-based Strategies for Teaching “Generation Me”
Q: Are there really generational differences, or are these
perceptions biased by age, experience, and a bit of
faculty burnout?
Recent generations of emerging adults have been described as:
Higher in self-esteem than previous generations
Being assertive
Having narcissistic personality characteristics
Holding high expectations for the future
Thinking they are above average in-Academic ability
Writing ability
Intellectual self-confidence
Their drive to achieve
Adapted from Twenge 2013
BUT, are these self-serving biases, not based in reality?
Standardized test scores have remained stable
or decreased over time
Creativity scores have declined
Self-esteem and achievement show negative
correlation – a reversal of direction
Unrealistic Optimism
Graduate high school with As
Plan to earn a graduate degree
Predict they will be in the top 20% of
high performers in their adult jobs
How can we use this information on generational differences
to tailor teaching strategies and improve learning outcomes?
Be very specific about requirements
Provide frequent feedback
Include plenty of images and video clips
Provide multiple opportunities for a variety
of interactive learning
Hold students accountable for reading
Be explicit about the purpose of assignments
Example from PSY 208
Developmental Science
“A question is more spacious than a statement,
far better suited to expressing wonder.”
M. Robinson
References and Resources
Baldwin, M.( 2010). Problem-based learning: Seeking the learning sense.
Brown, S.I. and Walter, M. (1990, 2nd ed). The art of problem posing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Dewey, J. (1910/1991). How we think. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking fast and slow. NY: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.
McDaniel, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., Huelser, B. J., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2011).
Test-enhanced learning in a middle school science classroom: The effects of quiz
frequency and placement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 399-414.
McDaniel, M. A., Anderson, J. L., Derbish, M. H., & Morrisette, N. (2007). Testing the testing
effect in the classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19, 494-513.
Robinson, M. (1998). Psalm eight, p.227-244. The death of Adam. Boston: Houghton Miflin.
Rogers, C. Kirschenbaum, H. and Henderson, V. (Eds.) (1989).The Carl Rogers reader. Boston:
Houghton Miflin Harcourt.
Savery, J.R. (2006). Overview of Problem-Based Learning: Definitions and Distinctions,
Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1). Available at: http://
Schon, D.A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. NY: Basic Books.
Swan, K. , Vahey, P. , van 't Hooft, M. , Kratcoski, A. , Rafanan, K. , Stanford, T. , Yarnall, L. , &
Cook, D. (2013). Problem-based Learning Across the Curriculum: Exploring the Efficacy
of a Cross-curricular Application of Preparation for Future Learning. Interdisciplinary
Journal of Problem-based Learning, 7(1). Available at:
Tan, Oon-Seng (2003). Problem-based learning innovation: Using problems to power
learning in the 21st century. Cengage Learning.
Twenge, J.M. (2013). Teaching generation me. Teaching of Psychology, 40, 66-69.

similar documents