As a prospective reviewer, the Editorial Board thanks you for agreeing
to contribute your time and energy for the peer review of submissions
to the Clearinghouse. In conjunction with the editors, reviewers help
to maintain the quality of the Clearinghouse holdings, thereby providing
an opportunity for the community of PBL scholars to publish their problems
to an international audience. During review of the submission assigned
to you, please keep the following questions and issues in mind.
Articles and problems submitted to the Clearinghouse should be original
and not published elsewhere, with the possible exception of the author's
Articles published in the Clearinghouse are anticipated to cover a full
range of topics related to the use of problem-based learning in the undergraduate
setting. Such topics may include issues of student learning and assessment,
diverse models of problem-based learning, and the use of problem-based
learning in a variety of class settings and class sizes.
PBL problems and supporting materials, including student learning objectives,
student and instructor resources, teaching notes, assessment strategies,
and solution notes, are solicited for all disciplines. Reviewers experienced
with PBL are selected for problems based primarily on their disciplinary
interests. If you feel that you are unable to judge the effectiveness
of a problem because of disciplinary constraints, please return it to
the editor with a brief note of explanation - suggestions for alternate
reviewers are welcomed.
A primary function of the peer review is to ensure that problems published
in the Clearinghouse are pedagogically sound and are suitable for use
in a PBL course. An important role of the reviewer is to identify any
modifications or suggestions that will assist the author in improving
a problem statement or staging. Please consider the following questions
as you review the problem statement.
- Does the problem engage the students' interest? Will it motivate them
to pursue and explore the concepts deeply?
- Is the problem cast in a context familiar to the students? Is it based
on a real-world situation, scenario, or controversy?
- Is the problem staged well? Is the problem developed so that student
- Is the information provided adequate to solve the problem? Is too
much information provided? Too little?
- Does the complexity and length of the problem promote cooperative
- Are some questions associated with the problem open-ended?
- Are the problems questions capable of challenging students at higher
Bloom levels, of promoting development of higher-order thinking skills?
Is the discipline listed for the problem appropriate?
Do the author's proposed keywords suitably represent the problem and facilitate
an electronic search of the Clearinghouse holdings by an informed user?
Can you recommend additional keywords?
Is the abstract clear and concise? Does it adequately represent the scope
of the problem and its objectives?
Student Learning Objectives
Are the objectives articulated well? Does the problem statement appear
to match the stated objectives? Does the problem embrace several learning
Are the specified resources sufficiently general, encouraging exploration
of learning issues, or very specific, taking the student immediately to
a solution of the problem? Do the resources adequately represent all perspectives
of a controversial topic? Are the resources authoritative, reliable, and
current? Are they readily available to students?
Resources may be provided solely for the instructor's benefit in researching
the learning issues before a problem is issued to students. Some resources
may not be recommended for student use.
Do the teaching notes indicate the types of learning issues that arise
from the students? Are helpful questioning strategies indicated? Is there
a discussion of issues that arise that tend to distract students from
oes the assessment match the stated learning objectives? Can individual
learning be determined with these strategies?
Solution notes need not be provided but are encouraged.
In addition to this Guide for Reviewers, please refer to our Problem
Writing Guide for additional suggestions on well-written PBL problems.
Thanks again for your valuable service to the community of PBL scholars.