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Lacks a 'hook'; obscure or ... 1. 2. 3. Criteria. Rubric to Evaluate PBL ... 1. 2. 3. Criteria. What Factors Influence Decisions About Problems. Who is ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction%20to%20Writing%20PBL%20Problems

Introduction to Writing PBL Problems
Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education
University of Delaware
Good PBL Problems
  • relate to real world, motivate students
  • require decision-making or judgments
  • are multi-page, multi-stage
  • are designed for group-solving
  • pose open-ended initial questions that encourage
  • incorporate course content objectives, higher
    order thinking

Blooms Cognitive Levels
  • Evaluation - make a judgment based on criteria
  • Synthesis - produce something new from component
  • Analysis - break material into parts to see
  • Application - apply concept to a new situation
  • Comprehension - explain, interpret
  • Knowledge - remember facts, concepts, definitions

Rubric to Evaluate PBL Problems
Descriptor Descriptor Descriptor
Criteria 3 2 1
Realism Based on an actual or fictionalized real-world situation linking topic to learner. Contrived or contains unrealistic elements that decrease credibility. Unrealistic, lacking relevant context.
Content Addresses significant conceptual issues directly related to major content goals. Encourages superficial rather than in-depth understanding concepts. Relevance of topic peripheral or not apparent.
Engagement Stimulates discussion and inquiry through its relevance and presentation. Generates limited or superficial discussion provokes little curiosity. Lacks a hook obscure or pedantic presentation.
Rubric to Evaluate PBL Problems
Descriptor Descriptor Descriptor
Criteria 3 2 1
Complexity Appropriately challenging group effort and cooperation required some ambiguity appropriate integrates multiple concepts. Difficult but may encourage a divide and conquer approach. Concepts not well integrated. Solution accessible to most students working alone focused on single concept.
Resolution Open to multiple resolutions or multiple pathways to solution, depending on student assumptions and reasoned arguments. Resolution is more obvious but allows reasonable opportunity for judgment and discussion. One right answer is expected limited opportunity for analysis and decision making.
Rubric to Evaluate PBL Problems
Descriptor Descriptor Descriptor
Criteria 3 2 1
Structure Progressive disclosure via multiple stages, builds on existing student knowledge. Staging does not flow well transition could be improved. Too much or too little information provided at once short cuts thinking/research.
Questions Limited in number, short, and open-ended stimulate probing for deeper understanding. Most are directive preempt student-generated learning issues. Lead to yes-no answers rather than thoughtful discussion.
Research Promotes substantive research using multiple resources. Research limited to textbook material. Limited necessity for research.
What Factors Influence Decisions About Problems
  • Who is the problem writer?
  • - discipline
  • - control issues
  • - level of investment
  • What is the course?
  • - students (number and level)
  • - sequencing of course/problems
  • - time/structure of class

Sources and Strategies for Writing Problems
  • Newspaper articles, news events
  • Popular press in the discipline
  • Make up a story based on content objectives
  • Adapt a case to a problem
  • Research papers
  • Other?

Step One
  • Identify the course
  • You can think of the subject, level of students,
    size of class, how you would use it.
  • List the learning objectives that would be met by
    this problem (related to your chosen news

Step Two
  • Think of a scenario.
  • Sketch out the first page.
  • Need more information? Consult our lending

Step Three
  • What comes next?
  • Write a brief synopsis of the problem,
    emphasizing the possible staging of the problem.
  • Be prepared to report out.

Feedback To Presenters
  • What did you like most about the problem?
  • Does it challenge students to think and do
  • Is the problem appropriate for the proposed

Step Four
  • How would you assess to see if students met your
    original learning objectives?