Definition of Problem Based Learning

Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional methodology in which learners are presented with real-world, open-ended problems as the basis for learning. PBL encourages active and collaborative learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Key Features of Problem Based Learning

  • Real-world problems: PBL presents learners with authentic, complex problems that simulate real-life situations and challenges.
  • Student-centered: PBL places students at the center of the learning process, fostering self-directed learning and autonomy.
  • Collaborative learning: PBL promotes collaboration among students as they work together to analyze and solve problems, sharing insights and knowledge.
  • Active learning: PBL engages students in active learning by requiring them to research, investigate, and seek out information to understand and solve the problem.
  • Critical thinking: PBL encourages the development of critical thinking skills as students analyze the problem, consider alternative solutions, and evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches.
  • Problem-solving skills: PBL aims to enhance students’ problem-solving abilities by providing opportunities to apply knowledge, skills, and strategies to real-world problems.

The Process of Problem Based Learning

The PBL process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Problem identification: Students identify and define the problem presented, ensuring they have a clear understanding of the task at hand.
  2. Research and analysis: Students engage in research, gathering relevant information to gain insights into the problem and its underlying concepts.
  3. Generating hypotheses/solutions: Students generate possible solutions or hypotheses based on their research findings and prior knowledge.
  4. Collaborative discussion: Students engage in group discussions to share their perspectives, exchange ideas, and refine their understanding of the problem.
  5. Testing and evaluation: Students test their proposed solutions, evaluate their effectiveness, and revise them as necessary.
  6. Presentation and reflection: Students present their findings and solutions to their peers, reflecting on the learning process and identifying areas for further improvement.

Problem Based Learning encourages active engagement, critical thinking, and the acquisition of problem-solving skills, preparing learners for real-world application of knowledge.