What is Problem-Based Learning?

Problem-Based Learning (pbl) is a teaching method that encourages students to learn by engaging in real-world problems. It can help students develop their critical thinking skills, communication abilities, and other important skills related to college and career readiness.

If you’re planning to implement project based learning in your classroom, you need resources that will guide you through the process. You also need professional development that will support your teachers’ first attempts at implementing this instructional strategy.

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach that promotes student-centered learning by giving students the opportunity to solve real-world problems. It has been shown to improve critical thinking skills, communication, and problem-solving abilities.

PBL is often used in medical education, but it also has been implemented across many disciplines and at different levels of study. It encourages students to take responsibility for their learning and helps them learn in a more authentic way, allowing them to apply what they have learned to new problems.

Traditionally, the PBL process involves a group of five to six students working with a faculty member who serves as their tutor. They meet twice a week for up to three hours, focusing on the problem.

In this way, students are able to develop their own unique solutions for a specific problem, and they can work with each other in order to solve it. This gives them a chance to strengthen their teamwork, communication, and research skills, which they can use throughout their careers.


Teamwork is an essential part of problem-based learning (pbl). The process involves students dealing with authentic problems and applying their knowledge to solve them.

This type of learning can help develop a wide range of skills including communication and critical thinking. But teamwork can be difficult and students often get frustrated.

A good project will encourage learners to participate and work on tasks they find interesting. This is especially important for chronically disengaged or absent students.

In addition to teaching teamwork, PBL also helps students hone social and emotional learning skills like empathy and responsibility. These are crucial for the workplace.


Reflection is a key part of every project-based learning (pbl) unit. It is important to make time for students to reflect on their experiences and consider how they can improve their future work.

Reflecting provides students with the opportunity to connect past experiences to their current learning, resulting in deeper insight and understanding of new concepts. It also gives them a chance to develop self-awareness and cultivate self-regulation.

While reflection most often shows up at the end of a PBL project, it is best when it is embedded throughout the process. It should be a part of each PBL unit so that students have opportunities to reflect on their learning, seek feedback from peers and teachers, and use the feedback to revise their work.

Transfer of Knowledge

PBL promotes knowledge transfer (ToK) and teaches students how to work together in a group to solve real-world problems. It strengthens teamwork, communication and research skills and encourages life-long learning.

Transfer of knowledge (ToK) occurs when previous experience and knowledge help a learner to understand new information or concepts. This can occur in many different ways, including near transfer (where the new learning situation is similar to the original) and far transfer (where the new learning situation is very different).

In nursing education, students who are engaged in S-PBL demonstrate higher levels of KT than control groups. They also reported significantly more self-confidence, learner satisfaction and critical thinking than the control group.

PBL aims to improve student self-learning, problem-solving, critical competence, inquiry and knowledge application in social, behavioural and biological sciences. It also helps to build a culture of self-awareness and self-regulation. This is a valuable skill for nurses and medical students to develop, particularly for those who will be responsible for their own professional development in the future.

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