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PBL Strengths and Weaknesses (CMJ)

Page history last edited by 301 15 years, 4 months ago

Problem-based learning, just like any other learning theory, has its strenghts and weaknesses. Its main strengths are collboration and hands-on experiences, which increase learning. The main weakness is that since PBL is fairly new, there are not enough resources and tests available to work with this model in all schools. If this learning theory is used along with other theories and an eclectic approach is taken, it can be very effective.


The chart below shows the main strengths and weaknesses associated with PBL.





-focus on: team work, problem-solving and independent thinking.


- students role: active, activity-based, and self-motivated approach to learning.


-hands-on experience with research processes.


-Model can be changed to fit instructors goals and needs.


-Students learn problem before learning how to solve it, giving them the chance to explore options and possible solutions.


-learning is more "enjoyable and nurturing"


-working with peers

-sometimes criticized  for having an "inflexible" and "linear" model.


-research has shown that this approach may increase certain skills but often results in poorer performance on "traditional tests" based on specific subject content.


-available resources for this type of approach are limited and sometimes PBL is unrealistic in its expectations for such materials.


-learning can be frustrating for students without proper facilitation (students are no longer being given the answers as in traditional methods of teaching)


-there may be conflicting or confusing information at times.









Information from: http://www.c-sap.bham.ac.uk/resources/project_reports/ShowOverview.asp?id=4 



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