imgresPBLE – Problem-Based Learning Experiences by Hamilton County Educational Service Center

This app was designed for teachers by Hamilton Educational and contains problems, resources, and real-time information to help teachers plan for authentic learning whether problem, project, or challenge based. Problem-based learning focuses student learning on the investigation and examination of a scrappy, and completely authentic problem. Students connect content knowledge to real-world problems where the motivation to learn comes from the motivation to solve the problem. The resolution is the reward! The hardest part of problem-based learning is trying to come up with an appropriate problem. This app has done all the work for you.

A Little Historical Background:  Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a curriculum development and delivery system that recognizes the need to develop problem solving skills as well as the necessity of helping students to acquire necessary knowledge and skills.

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.

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What is Project Based Learning (PBL)? PBL defined:  is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of problem solving. Students learn both thinking strategies and domain knowledge.

According to the Buck Institute of Learning:

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Essential Elements of PBL include:

  • Significant Content – At its core, the project is focused on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of academic subjects.
  • 21st century competencies – Students build competencies valuable for today’s world, such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation, which are explicitly taught and assessed.
  • In-Depth Inquiry – Students are engaged in an extended, rigorous process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.
  • Driving Question – Project work is focused by an open-ended question that students understand and find intriguing, which captures their task or frames their exploration.
  • Need to Know – Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand concepts, and apply skills in order to answer the Driving Question and create project products, beginning with an Entry Event that generates interest and curiosity.
  • Voice and Choice – Students are allowed to make some choices about the products to be created, how they work, and how they use their time, guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL experience.
  • Critique and Revision – The project includes processes for students to give and receive feedback on the quality of their work, leading them to make revisions or conduct further inquiry.
  • Public Audience – Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher.

Implementing Project Based Learning (PBL)

The hardest part of problem based learning is trying to come up with an appropriate problem. PBLE is here to help you with a collection of suggested starter problems to assist in effective planning for problem based learning. 

Each problem is focused at a particular grade band, integrated with standards, and connected to relevant activities and web resources. Problem based learning focuses student learning on the investigation and resolution of messy, authentic problems. Students connect content knowledge to real world problems where the motivation to learn comes from the motivation to solve the problem.

The goals of PBL are to develop flexible knowledge, problem solving skills, and collaboration skills while allowing for self-directed learning. Working in a collaborative group, students identify their current knowledge of the problem, what they need to know and how and where to access new information.

Your role becomes that of facilitator where you provide appropriate support, modeling, and monitoring of the learning process. Teachers coach student thinking and guide student inquiry, pushing learning toward deeper levels of understanding and retention.

  • Integrated with standards.

  • Anchored by a grade-band.

  • Connected to relevant activities and real-time web content.

And they’re just getting started. They will keep adding new problems and resources over time. PBLE will launch their latest additions without having to update the app itself. See what ripples you can make in student learning today with PBL

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