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Blueprints for Student Learning: April 12-14, 2007

April 13, 10:00-11:15am
Problem-Based Learning: Real World Problems as Blueprints for Learning

Deborah Allen, George Watson, and Hal White, University of Delaware

The fundamental tenet of problem-based instruction (PBL) is that learning is initiated by a posed problem that the student wants to solve. In the PBL approach, complex, real-world problems motivate students to identify and research concepts and principles they need to understand to progress from ideas to solutions. Students work in small groups to acquire, communicate, and integrate information in a process that resembles that of inquiry. We will demonstrate PBL and model ways that it can be used to guide students' acquisition of skills that will help them to continue to learn effectively after graduation. This introductory session will be followed by a second session later in the conference that will focus on strategies for implementation of PBL.

PowerPoint presentation (handout)
Problem statement for 'Experience It Yourself'
   [stage 1, sample responses, stage 2, sample responses,stage 3]
What is PBL? (handout)
Good Learning Issues (handout)
Organizational Decisions in Using PBL (handout)

April 13, 4:00-5:15pm
Problem-Based Learning: Models for Implementation

Deborah Allen, George Watson, and Hal White, University of Delaware

In problem-based learning (PBL), complex, real-world problems are used to motivate students to identify and research concepts and principles they need to understand to resolve the problem. Adoption of PBL strategies is not a change undertaken lightly– its use entails a re-conceptualization and re-structuring of a course or curriculum. The presenters will highlight these issues by discussing various models for adapting PBL strategies to undergraduate courses. They will provide examples of the instructional choices made to design a variety of large and small-enrollment courses that incorporate varying degrees of emphasis on use of PBL. This session is recommended for participants who attended the earlier conference session that introduced PBL (“PBL: Real World Problems As Blueprints for Learning”), or who have prior familiarity with PBL as a formal teaching and learning strategy.

PowerPoint presentation (handout)

Online Resources:
Problem-Based Learning at the University of Delaware
Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education
Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse

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