What practical structures could we use to implement PBL in our classrooms?
Begin with the End in Mind:
In a PBL classroom teachers start with what they want the students to learn and they look at an overall unit of learning. With this type of structure it requires teachers to understand and know the concepts they need to teach. Also with PBL teachers are trying to relate the concepts to other content areas and/or real world concepts.
PBL requires students to collaborate and communicate what they are learning. The teacher’s role is to facilitate and monitor the groups because students may not be used to working in groups effectively. Instructors should also encourage groups to set group expectations and classroom norms. According to Ertmer & Simons (2006), “Throughout the process, the teacher monitors and guides students’ progress by overseeing the management of small student groups, keeping students focused on important content, and providing ongoing formative feedback.”
Scaffold Student Learning:
Scaffolding is a way teachers can provide students with support in their learning. Scaffolding can be discussions with the teacher, tools, or reading materials. As stated by Ertmer & Simons (2006), “Within problem-based learning, teachers can use scaffolds to accomplish four important goals: 1) initiating students’ inquiry; 2) maintaining students’ engagement; 3) aiding learners with concept integration and addressing misconceptions; and 4) promoting reflective thinking.”
Lastly, the TeachingChannel video SAGE: A Framework for Project-Based Learning shares a framework for incorporating PBL into a classroom. It suggests using the SAGE acronym when planning for PBL:
Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network. SAGE: A Framework for Project-Based Learning. [Video]. Retrieved March 16 from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/pbl-sage-framework-asis#
Ertmer, P. A., & Simons, K. D. (2006). Jumping the PBL implementation hurdle: Supporting the efforts of K–12 teachers. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 1(1), 5. Retrieved March 16 from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=ijpbl&sei-redir=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fstart%3D10%26q%3Dimplementing%2BPBL%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C2#search=%22implementing%20PBL%22
Ge, X., Planas, L. G., & Er, N. (2010). A cognitive support system to scaffold students’ problem-based learning in a web-based learning environment. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 4(1), 4. Retrieved March 16 from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1093&context=ijpbl&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fq%3DScaffolding%2BPBL%26btnG%3D%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%252C2#search=%22Scaffolding%20PBL%22
Greening, T. (1998). Scaffolding for success in problem-based learning. Medical Education Online, 3. Retrieved March 16 from http://www.med-ed-online.net/index.php/meo/article/viewFile/4297/4488
Stanford University Newsletter on Teaching. (2001). Speaking of Teaching. Problem-based learning. Winter 2001 Vol.11, No. 1 Retrieved March 15 from http://web.stanford.edu/dept/CTL/cgi-bin/docs/newsletter/problem_based_learning.pdf