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Problem Based Learning

Page history last edited by Iris Valdez 9 years, 5 months ago Saved with comment


Problem-based learning


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a model where students engage with complex and challenging problems. Then the students work collaboratively toward a resolution. PBL is about students connecting disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems. Further, the motivation to solve a problem becomes the motivation to learn. In PBL, the teacher acts as a facilitator and mentor, rather than a source of solutions. PBL provides the learner with opportunities to examine and try out what he/she knows. The learner discovers what they need to learn. The learner also improves her/his communications skills. Finally, the learner practices the skills that she needs after her education.



PBL History


The first application of PBL was in medical schools which rigorously test the knowledge base of graduates. Medical professionals need to keep up with new information in their field and the skill of life-long learning is particularly important for them. Hence, PBL was thought to be well suited for this area. Since then many medical and professional schools, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs use PBL in some form, at varying capacities internationally.



PBL Process



1. Explore the ideas,

2. List what you know,

3. List out all the possible solutions and the learning issues,

4. Write up your solution and developing documents, and revise your ideas if necessary,

5. Repeat and Recycle!



PBL Video 






Carver, L. (Producer). (2008). Problem based learning. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDe74bOxXLw


National Research Council (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press.  


Merrill, M.D. (2002). A pebble in the pond Model for Instructional Design. Performance Improvement 41 (7): 39-44. doi: 10. 1002/pfi.4140410709.


Sweller, J., Van Merrienboer, j., & Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and instructional design. Educational Psychology Review 10: 251-296. doi: 10.1023/A:1022193728205.






Comments (7)

eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 3:38 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Hi Isaim,

The video is about Project Based Learning, but we are actually gathering information about Problem-based learning. Thanks,


Iris Valdez said

at 3:15 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Hello Elnaz and Isaim,
I changed Isaim's video to a video describing Problem-Based Learning. I referenced the video as well. Let me know what you think!

hborhani@csupomona.edu said

at 8:43 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Hi Iris,

It is great! I like it and thanks,


eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 9:08 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Hi Iris,

It is great! I like it and thanks again,


Ps. I left the above comment 2. :)) Hooman forgot to log out and I was doing my homework with his username! Ay! He never logs out :))

eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 9:23 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Sometimes, a quick search leads to great results. Just found this website and thought it is not too late to share it. If anyone interested in PROBLEM BASED LEARNING

eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 9:24 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Make sure to check this out too http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/ijpbl/topdownloads.html

Isaim B said

at 11:00 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Sorry Elnaz and Iris, should have planned that video a little better. Caught up in the quality of the animation. Thanks for the help. You guys did a great job on the wiki.


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