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How to Implement Problem-based Learning (PBL)?

  1. Students work in small groups of 6 to 8 with the aids of a facilitator or tutor.
  2. Students are confronted with an ill-structured problem that mirrors real-world problems.
    1. Well chosen problems encourage students to define problems, identify what information is needed, and engage in solution generation and decision making.
  3. The tutor guides the students through the problems, and to provide them with ongoing formative evaluation.
  4. The tutorial is where learning issues are developed and information is shared, discussed and integrated back into the problem. In addition, it is a place where clarification of concepts can occur as well as a place to share useful resources.
  5. Each individual is responsible for his/her own learning, and for making sure the tutorial meets his/her own needs.

Why Use Problem-based Learning (PBL)?

PBL is a learning environment in which the problem drives the learning. That is, students are given a problem before they learn some knowledge. The problem is posed so that the students discover that they need to learn some new knowledge before they can solve the problem. Posing the problem before learning tends to motivate students. They know why they are learning the new knowledge. Learning in the context of the need-to-solve-a-problem also tends to store the knowledge in memory patterns that facilitate later recall for solving problems.


Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.

UBC Resources

Problem-Based Learning Network

Online Resources

See Also

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