What is Problem Based Learning (PBL)?

  • What is Problem Based Learning (PBL)?

    Problem Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.


     Problem Design Elements include:

    • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The Problem is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management. 
    • Challenging Problem or Question- The problem is framed by a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
    • Sustained Inquiry- Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
    • Authenticity- The problem features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
    • Student Voice & Choice- Students make some decisions about the problem, including how they work and what they create.
    • Reflection- Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and problem activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
    • Critique & Revision- Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
    • Public Product- Students make their Problem work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.



    "Why Project Based Learning (PBL)?" Why PBL? N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.