Five Characteristics Of Problem-Based Learning

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Problem-Based Learning: Hmelo-Silver (2004) emphasised five goals of problem-based learning. These include helping students develop (1) Flexible knowledge, (2) Effective problem-solving skills, (3) Self-directed learning skills, (4) Effective collaboration skills, and (5) intrinsic motivation. Barrows (1996) described six characteristics of problem-based learning, running somewhat parallel to these goals: (1) Learning is student-centered. (2) Learning occurs in small student groups. (3) Teachers are facilitators or guides. (4) Problems create the organising focus and stimulus for learning. (5) Problems are the vehicle for the development of clinical problem-solving skills. (6) New information is acquired through self-directed learning.
Active Learning: Prince (2004) defined active learning broadly as, any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. This definition is itself broad enough to include many traditional classroom activities such as lectures (provided students are reflecting, taking notes, or asking questions). However, in an effort to maintain contrast with traditional teacher-centered approaches, these methods are systematically dismissed by explicit exclusion. Thus, active learning acts as a superset for both peer-assisted and problem-based learning approaches. Prince also clarifies the relationship between these two, indicating that problem-based learning is, always active and usually (but not necessarily) collaborative or cooperative

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