Problem-Based Learning Task Force
From: Jane Ostrander, PI, Destination PBL Project
Subject: Welcome

Welcome to our Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Scenario Task Force 2013. In this task force you will be creating new scenarios and tasks to be pilot tested in your classrooms and then added to our National PBL Library of Resources for other faculty and teachers to use.

Why PBL?

...the best teachers often try to create...a "natural critical learning environment." In that environment, people learn by confronting intriguing, beautiful, or important problems, authentic tasks that will challenge them to grapple with their ideas, rethink their assumptions, and examine their mental models of reality.These are challenging yet supportive conditions in which learners feel a sense of control over their education; work collaboratively with others; believe that their work will be considered fairly and honestly; and try, fail, and receive feedback from expert learners in advance of and separate from any summative judgement of their efforts.

Ken Bain (2004), What the best college teachers do, p.18.

Faculty using PBL in community college classrooms have observed that PBL
  • increased student engagement,
  • supported students' problem solving skills, and
  • helped students manage situations they will encounter in "real world"  work situations. 
The PBL strategies and process you will be introduced to will push you to examine how you teach, think in new ways about your assessment policies, involve industry volunteers in your task development and into your classroom, and provide opportunities for your to share what you know with your colleagues on this task force.

Some of you may find that an uncomfortable experience. Change, particularly change that involves our professional practice, can be challenging. You will be well supported by colleagues who will help you through this process.
We know that you will power through the difficulties and create outstanding scenarios and tasks that will provide a more engaging and deeper learning environment for your students.

To get started, complete the Orientation section of this site. 

This is a fast-paced working environment. We hope you will enjoy and be up to the challenge. Welcome aboard!