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Transcript of PBL
Our questions and the answers we found:
1. Problem core design
2. Problem Design - subject
It seems easy to find „good" problems in natural sciences and study programms closely related to a profession or to a professional field. But what about languages? History? Educational sciences?
In which form the problem should be presented?
What are the parameters for deciding when a problem is too open-ended (unstructured)
or not enough opend-ended (structured)?
The problems we designed
problem with language learning:
language normally a tool
, not a subject in every day’s learning
learning “raw” facts
(grammar and vocabulary)
in language teaching than in other subject
on the other hand:
few things can be considered more real and everyday for humans than language
difficult to find a plausible context for a problem
solution: combination with other subjects where language plays an important role (law, history, economy)
students communicating with each other in their native language
PBL is not a good approach for basic levels in language teaching
Can PBL be applied on language education?
examples for problems in language classroom
combination with law:
combination with history:
You are a group of students living in [country]. Harry, one of your friends from backhome has just visited you. You have been on constant city sightseeing for three days. However, the day after his departure you receive a phone call from him. Harry has been arrested by the local police in a city in the other end of the country. He doesn’t understand what he is being accused of and asks you to help him. Apparently, Harry has managed to convince the police to fax information about the situation to you. You will find that information on page two...
too artificial, too far-fetched
How to design "good" problems?
motivating, engaging, not to easy, not to difficult
problems have to be composed of a relatively neutral description of phenomena
problems should be:
1. Build on students’ prior knowledge
to ensure that the group is able to discuss the problem
that students can build on prior knowledge in learning new knowledge.
2. Stimulate elaboration
must also contain a number of unfamiliar elements that require new information
should invite students to explore the background and come up with explanations.
3. Be presented within the context of a relevant problem
problem should be presented within the context of a problem that is relevant - also in the eyes of the students
or in a situation relevant to students’ future professional practice
4. Stimulate self-directed learning
should stimulate students to generate their own learning issues
should be constructed in such a way that learning issues cannot be derived from the problem without preliminary discussion
should ensure that students will seek relevant publications or other resources to find answers to their learning issues
5. Offer motivation
should be geared to students’ interests and perceptions.
Student level :
First semester of medicine school ( 18 / 19 years old)
Students need know how to do the Basic Life Support (BLS).
BLS is a level of medical care which is used for victims of life-threatening illnesses or injuries until they can be given full medical care at a hospital. It can be provided by trained medical personnel, including emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and by laypersons who have received BLS training.
the students have to:
1)Recognize a collapse cardiac in adult
2) know BLS with its events sequence
3)know and describe the resuscitation maneuvers correctly
4)Do the resuscitation maneuvers in didactic mannequins
You are in a trip at the Rio de Janeiro International airport. A man 67 years old lies motionless on the floor in front of you. He is having a few agonal gasps and appears lifeless. Bystanders report that he just collapsed and nobody knows what to do.
You have received BLS training last week and now you need act quicly. You have a maximum of four minutes to start the resuscitation maneuvers
What would you do???
University students, between fifth and sixth semester
course of studies
For the problem teams are formed and each team receives a picture of a product
(they don't know what the product is).
You are a team that created the following product. For the moment, you all have a temporary case of amnesia, and you do not remember how you arrived at that solution. Your challenge is:
"What problem, need or opportunity does that product resolve? Define the process you followed as a team in order to create that solution. Define the type of people that had to be involved in every part of the process. (Ex: Graphic designer, Geologist, etc.)
This problem starts as a learning point for students to hypothesise what they could have done as team in the past, since they now have "amnesia". During the development of the course, it can serve as a base to brainstorm questions in order to investigate and define the creative process through their investigation.
lecturers in a university of applied sciences
introduction in university didactic
learning objective of the specific teaching unit:
methods in general and methods of E-Learning in higher education
content of the previous teaching units:
psychology of learning, composition and structure of lessons, assessment in higher education - not conveyed by PBL
The chief of your department wants to make the course programm where you are teaching more attractive for students. He/She asks your team to work out innovative didactic propositions to be applied on your course programme. What do you do?
Is this motivating?
Is this really problem based learning or rather project based learning?
instead of amnesia a case of
too easy? because students just learned BLS and I suppose
there are only a couple of specific procedures to apply?
THE HAPPINESS MACHINE
A project about: Happiness, addiction and group-pressure.
Setting: A philosophy/ Ethics class - involving art in the project
Could also be presented as an Art project (involving philosophical/ethical dimension)
This is a problem based assigment for pupils aged 16 to 20. (It should also work on several levels, most important not only academics) This will be a project for 15/30 students.
THE HAPPINESS MACHINE (Setting)
THE HAPPINESS MACHINE (Project description)
THP EXTRA (Questions to be answered, examples)
THE HAPPINESS MACHINE (Project description)
“In the future there is a machine created and when you push its button you feel happiness and pleasure. The effect lasts for a few minutes; then you will have to push the button again. It has no known side-effects and does not lead to addiction. Some chooses to use it several times every day and some only once in a while. Some chooses to do it only when they are alone and some chooses to do it only in social settings. And some people choose not to push the button.”
For more information, see:
apprentices of a commercial apprenticeship in Switzerland
French (combination with economy, Marketing)
learning objective of the specific teaching unit:
vocabulary of enterprise and marketing, application of Marketing knowledge transmitted in economy lessons
Your enterprise located in the German speaking part of Switzerland wants to capture the market of Romandie (French speaking part of Switzerland). Your team has to work out a plan containing all the steps which have to be taken to succeed. You will not only present your plan to the management of your enterprise but also on a conference of Marketing-specialists in the Romandie.
In a course in German, third-year students arrive in class one day to find a letter from the Nazi
Ministry of Propaganda (written in German). The letter, dated 1938, addresses the students as "Gallery Directors" who must review their art collection and discard that which is "degenerate." Degenerate art will no longer be tolerated in Germany. The gallery owners--the students--face severe sanctions if they do not weed out paintings, statues, and photographs that are contrary to the vision and purpose of art held by the government officials. The German teacher asks his students: "Was müssen wir wissen?" (What must we know?)
too artificial, too far-fetched
Francom, G. M., & Gardner, J. (2014). What is task-centered learning?. TechTrends, 58(5), 27-35.
Janssen-Noordman, A., Merriënboer, J. J., Van der Vleuten, C. P., & Scherpbier, A. J. (2006). Design of integrated practice for learning professional competences. Medical Teacher, 28(5), 447-452.
Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational technology research and development, 50(3), 43-59.
Steps in problem construction :
1) Establish what educational objectives are to be attained.
2 ) The different types of problems:
2.1 the explanation problem:
(narrative, phenomenon, verbatim or correspondence, but also as a problem pack or sign Pack)
students explain and understand underlying structures and mechanisms
consists of a more or less neutral description of a number of interrelated phenomena for which an explanation must be sought
: generally consists of a text, but it can also be a table, chart, part of an article or quotations.
in years 1 and 2 to present content related to describe the phenomenon
less suitable when the purpose of the problem is for students to learn how to reason and act in a real context.
.2 The discussion problem
(a narrative, phenomenon, verbatim or correspondence)
can be used to foster understanding of different points of view regarding an issue
students learn to reflect critically on the standards and values of the profession/society/own personal standards and values
rarely results in learning issues that need further discussion in a subsequent group meeting
students rather dissatisfied, because often unable to resolve the problem discussed, often hard to decide on the topic of the group discussion, this type of problem can lead to lengthy discussions with generally little substance.
2.3 The strategy problem
(a narrative, SOEP problem, problem pack or sign pack)
students learn rational clinical reasoning and decision making based on knowledge and understanding of underlying processes.
-> question: what is the appropriate course of action in this situation and why?
implicit question is: what to do next? As a result this problem invites students to simulate the reality
when the description of the problem is too vague, it is difficult for students to determine the central aspect
2.4 The study problem
to independently study a particular subject, mostly concluded by a concrete assignment to study specified topics
can be used to introduce a particular subject by having students learn new material or activate previously acquired knowledge, it guides the group discussion following self-study, because the problem states what students are expected to learn
students generally find them boring and uninspiring. In many cases difficult to determine in what depth the subject needs to be studied.
2.6 The multi-level problem
history is presented in phases, each consecutive phase is accompanied by additional information, questions are specifically designed to stimulate in depth study, educational objectives are formulated for each phase.
forces the group to study the subject in depth.
time-consuming, long lasting problems for students not very motivating
pupils have only 3 French
lessons per week and have
to reach B1-level
Maria Fernanda's problem
2. 5 The application problem
( a narrative, SOEP problem, problem pack or sign pack)
previously acquired knowledge is applied in a simulated practice situation using assignments
application of knowledge in an integrated manner in a different context
not suitable for acquistion of new knowledge
) Connection with prior knowledge
2) Clear connection with the block objectives
3) The complexity of a problem:
depends on the number of concepts and domains involved in the problem, also depends on students’ levels of knowledge and skills
4) Suficient degree of structure:
when too tightly structured, students will see no reason to discuss the problem because learning issues are self-evident. When a problem is too loosely structured to much time will be taken up by organising information and identifying the problem
5) Concrete wording and connection with professional practice
6) Multidisciplinary problems
7) Length of the problems: w
hen too long and presents too many details students will have difficulty identifying problems, because there are too many cues. Irrelevant information is to be avoided
8) Time available for independent study
9) The time available for the reporting stage
10) Variety in learning activities:
by variation in the types of problems and the formats in which they are offered in a bloc
1) How many problems:
depends on the size of the block and size, type and format of each problem, not too much time on one single problem
12) Logical order of problems
If a subject is addressed both in a lecture and in a problem, the prefered order is for the discussion in the group to precede the lecture thereby enhancing the lecture’s learning effect and preventing that the lecture addresses in detail what students are supposed to discuss in the group.
13) Make an early start:
Writing a good problem is time consuming, generally will have to be rewritten several times.
to design a "good" problem respect guidelines for problem construction below,
for the question above see especially 1. 3 and 4
3 . Problem format
consists of a description in greater or lesser detail of a situation or event
short description of an observation.
3.3 SOEP problem:
problem is described briefly, followed by subjective data (S) and objective data (O) concerning a issue, students are expected to first evaluate the data (E) and then formulate a management plan (P).
3.4 Problem pack:
contains a number of problems presenting the same complaint but with different issues
3.5 Sign pack:
contains a group of similar problems that are generally presented in phases. In each successive phase a sign is added (such as a finding from an investigation).
3.6 - Verbatim:
rendering of professional encounter.
complete letter, usually a referral or discharge letter.