Luma Blog

Using Problem-based learning

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an effective instructional approach first developed for use in health science fields to immerse students in complex situations (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980). Luma has found it to be a promising approach to teach children (Dysard & Oberlander) as well as adult learners (e.g. Anderson 2015, Anderson & Brush, 2015, Anderson & Tredway, 2009). The benefits are also suppored by others in the learning field (e.g. Good & Brophy, 1991; Jonassen, 1999; Savery & Duffy, 1995).

We often get asked, how do we do it? Here are some tips to get you started.

So, how do you put PBL in practice in an online environment?

1

Present students with a relevant problem that is carried throughout the learning experience.

2

Engage students as stakeholders in the problem.

3

Give students a choice where they determine the topic, the pacing, the time allocated, or the conditions and resources.

4

Facilitate opportunities for students to examine multiple perspectives on a topic, issue, or problem.

5

Group students and provide activities where they engage in critical thinking and discourse.

6

Coach students through the experience by guiding and scaffolding student inquiry.

7

Create activities that promote reflection for students to communicate what they are learning throughout the learning experience.

8

Involve students in activities where they apply new knowledge and understanding to the problem.

9

Create a summative assessment where students demonstrate what they have learned within a context that is closely aligned to their immediate worlds.

If you want to learn more about PBL and earn professional development hours or university credit, take a look at Luma’s PBL course. A free preview is available. Want help employing PBL in your online programs? Simply contact us!

 

References 

Anderson, G. L. (2015). An exploration of multimedia use in an online RN-BSN program (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from IUScholarWorks. (http://hdl.handle.net/2022/20945)

Anderson, G. L., & Brush, T. (2015). Emerging perspectives on multimedia use for

learning. Paper presented at the AECT Accelerate Learning: Racing into the Future, Indianapolis, IN.

Anderson, G. L., & Tredway, C. (2009). Transforming the nursing curriculum to promote critical thinking online. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(2), 111-115.

Anderson, G. L., Tredway, C., & Calice, C. (2015). A longitudinal study of nursing students’ perceptions of online course quality. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 26(1), 5-21.

Barrows, H.S., & Tamblyn, R.M. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education. New York:
Springer.

Dysard, G., & Oberlander, J. (2003, July). Integrating problem-based learning in K-12 classrooms. Paper presented at the National Education Computing Conference, Seattle, WA.

Jonassen, D. (1999). Designing constructivist learning environments. In C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. 2, pp. 217-239). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rowley, J. B., Dysard, G., & Arnold, J. (2005). Creating classroom learning adventures: Exploring problem-based and technology-enhanced learning [Multimedia CD]. Washington, DC: Department of Education.

Savery, J.R., & Duffy, M. (1995). Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, 35(5), 31-38.

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