PBL places the responsibility for learning on the students. Learning through this format comes from participating fully in class and doggedly pursuing research. There are few required texts to buy so that when you find an article particularly useful for our problem, you are expected to provide a link on your reading record so everyone in the class or in your group can find it and read it. Students will work together on generating coherent, thoughtful, humane responses to the problems.
We share all of our research and our writings but our papers are written and graded individually.
The class will be divided into two groups. Each group meets in the classroom with Dr. Pillsbury for tutorial sessions that last for one-half of the time scheduled for the class. Tutorials are used for making hypotheses, identifying assumptions and learning issues, appraising sources, hypotheses and reasoning, and evaluating our progress on each problem. During these sessions you are expected to a) contribute your thoughts and research and b) challenge (politely) the reasoning of your colleagues, pushing them and yourself to deeper, wiser understandings.
Even when not meeting with the instructor, you are to keep the remaining part of the scheduled period available for group work as your group will regularly need to prepare for the tutorial session or continue deliberations begun in the tutorial.
When we begin a problem we will need two volunteers from the group to act as scribes. One will write on the board, the other on paper that she/he will xerox for each of the group members and the tutor. Scribes use the chart on the previous page to record and focus the group's thoughts. Throughout the semester, we will rotate scribes for each problem. On all pages that scribes (or anyone else turns in), please identify the problem # and the group's letter: A - F.Deadlines for written work: Each group controls its own schedule and gets to decide all deadlines for papers and other written work. No papers will be accepted after the groupís deadline.For each problem, we will use the following chart to organize our initial brainstorming:
What We Know What We Don't Know Schedule Possible Answers/Possible Main Points Questions Action Plan All possible reasonable responses to the problem that we need to, at least, consider.
Questions we need to answer in order to craft the most intelligent response to the problem.
What we need to keep in mind or learn.
Activities we need to do
Deadlines we set for completing the task.
For more information about PBL see:
Send comments regarding this page to: Pillsbury@wmich.edu
Last revised: May 10, 2011