Purpose
of this Site
What
is PBL?
Why
PBL?
Theory
Research
PBL
in the classroom
Group
Dynamics
Individual
Roles
Role
of instructor
How
to do PBL
Example
Problems
Resources
Schools
using PBL
PBL
at Stanford
PBL
Organizations
Ways
to learn PBL

There are several
models of how PBL works in the classroom. All of them agree that in a
PBL curriculum,
 students work through a series of problems designed to:
 be authentic (i.e. address realworld concerns)
 target defined areas of the curriculum
 be "illstructured"
 they must be defined and analyzed through inquiry from a minimum
of presenting information
 approximate
the real world, so that students find
themselves actually engaged in the problem and not just observers
of it;
 the role of the instructor changes from a "sage on the stage"
to a "guide on the side";
 students work collaboratively in small groups toward the problem's
resolution.
Barrows proposes the
following model of the PBL process in How to Design a Problembased
Curriculum for the Preclinical Years, 1985.
Process

Purpose

Students
read and address problem, without background preparation. 
*Teaches students
to encode and organize information in useful ways.
*Allows students to find what they know and what they donšt know.
Misconceptions can be corrected in discussion of the problem.
*Mimics the real life context they will face as doctors.

Students discuss
and analyze problem using prior knowledge and resources available.
Tutor poses
questions: ie. Do you need more information? Are you sure of the
facts or will a review be helpful? Do you think more information
on this area would be helpful?
Tutors encourage
hypotheses are grounded in science.

*Development
of cognitive skills for problemsolving process
*Development
of selfmonitoring skills to identify the learning needs
*Development
of habitual studentinitiated questioning

Students decide what they need to know and where they might best find
the information. They decide which resources to use (people, published
papers, etc.). 
*Selfdirected
study 
Students revisit
problem with new information and knowledge acquired during selfstudy.
Students critique
learning resources used.
Group decides
appropriate hypotheses and critiques prior performance.

*New
organization of information to problemsolve.
*Selfassessment
*Peerassessment

Students
should think about how what they learned has added to their understanding

*Reflection
*Selfassessment

Another variation
of inclass activity follows on the next page.
