Characteristics of PBL

Problem-based learning is an instructional methodology; that is, it is an problems. The primary goal of PBL is to enhance learning by requiring learners to solve problems. It is a methodology with the following characteristics:

• It is problem focused, such that learners begin learning by addressing simulations of an authentic, ill-structured problem. The content and skills to be learned are organized around problems, rather than as a hierarchical list of topics, so a reciprocal relationship exists between knowledge and the problem.Knowledge building is stimulated by the problem and applied back to the problem.

• It is student centered, because faculty cannot dictate learning.

• It is self-directed, such that students individually and collaboratively assume responsibility for generating learning issues and processes through self-assessment and peer assessment and access their own learning materials. Required assignments are rarely made.

• It is self-reflective, such that learners monitor their understanding and learn to adjust strategies for learning. 

• Tutors are facilitators (not knowledge disseminators) who support and model reasoning processes, facilitate group processes and interpersonal dynamics, probe students’ knowledge deeply, and never interject content or provide direct answers to questions.

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