Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogical approach in which students learn by the process of solving an open-ended problem within a team. With PBL, students develop problem-solving skills and self-directed learning, together with team-work practice and flexible knowledge. The problems used in PBL are real cases, they can be solved in multiple ways and require an integrated approach.
The PBL system differs from traditional instruction in that PBL engages the student in constructing knowledge and the teacher role moves from a knowledge provider towards a learning facilitator.

A bit of history…
Since the introduction of a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum at the McMaster University School of Medicine in 1969, many Universities in different regions of the world have adopted this approach in a variety of fields, usually with some variations to suit their local needs.

PBL and the project HEIRRI
Within the project HEIRRI, Mar Carrió (GRECS-UPF) is the PBL professor that helps to bring together the HEIRRI learning materials and the PBL method. It has shown to be an effective system of education (Hmelo-Silver CE, 2004)1, PBL will be used for the materials developed within HEIRRI (unless otherwise specified and justified). RRI aspects can be easily integrated in exemplary problems from different fields, providing the right scenarios to discuss, analyse, reflect and propose ways to deal with such problems.

Do you have any experience using the PBL methodology?
What are the advantages of PBL compared to traditional instruction?
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1. Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E. (2004). “Problem-Based Learning: What and How Do Students Learn?”. Educational Psychology Review 16 (3): 235–266
. doi:10.1023/B:EDPR.0000034022.16470.f3


Photo: “The Art of Inquiry”, from B. Hudspith and H. Jenkins, Green Guide #3: Teaching the Art of Inquiry.