Problem-Based Learning usually begins with specific concept standards, within and across content areas, and focuses on developing a possible solution path or solution paths to a real-world problem. Problem-Based Learning is not Project-Based Learning, meaning it does not necessarily have to include a tangible product.
We suggest keeping a journal to record the discussion prompts, within the modules and videos, and your responses.
To learn more about what problem-based learning is, and how to implement this approach in your curriculum, explore the materials below.
- Module 1: What is it? What are the components?
- Definition (according to Kate Gukeisen)
"Problem-Based Learning is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving real-world problems.” Problem-Based Learning Basics video
- What is Problem-Based Learning? View this video to learn more about PBL from Kate Gukeisen (~ 5 minutes)
Organizational structure of learning
- Look over your curriculum or a unit of study:
- Where are there places when a Problem-Based Learning approach might naturally fit?
- What changes might you make to support a problem-based learning approach in your classroom?
- How will you adjust your classroom instruction to support the 4 components of PBL?
- Module 2: What is the process?
What does it take to implement a problem-based learning approach in your classroom?
- View this video to learn more about the PBL process from Kate Gukeisen (~ 2 ½ minutes)
- Look over a unit of study and consider the PBL process and how you might incorporate this approach to support student learning.
- What changes to your instructional strategies would you need to make?
- How might you support students in taking the lead in their learning throughout this process?
- Module 3: Choosing problems, standards, and assessment
Ill-structured problems are at the heart of Problem-Based Learning. An Ill-structured problem will have no clear pathway and/or solution. It will have many possible solutions, allowing for the learnng to focus on the problem-solving process rather than getting the "right answer".
- View this video to learn more about which types of problems, standards and assessments support the PBL approach from Kate Gukeisen (~ 4 minutes)
- Look over a unit of study and consider what ill-structured problems might you be able to propose to students?
- Look over a unit of study and consider the standards that lend themselves to critical thinking as Kate suggests in the video.
- How does the critical thinking needed connect multiple content area standards to help deepen student problem solving skills?
- Links to MLRs
- English Language Arts
- Health Education
- Life and Career Ready
- Physical Education
- Science and Engineering
- Social Studies
- Visual and Performing Arts
- World Languages
- Look over a unit of study and consider the multiple opportunities for students to self-assess and peer assess their problem-solving process.
- Look over a unit of study and consider how to reflect on and discuss the problem-solving process with students.
- What changes might you make to your unit of study?
- How might you better help students to engage in the problem-solving process?
- Links to MLRs
- Wrap it Up
- View this video to wrap up our learning about Problem-Based Learning from Kate Gukeisen (~ 2 minutes)
Now that you have completed Problem-Based Learning, please complete this short questionnaire to receive your contact hour certificate.
Resources used to support the development of this professional learning opportunity:
- Problem Based Learning video from Kate Gukeisen
- Problem-Based learning in less than 5 minutes (I promise) video from John Spencer