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Problem Based Learning

Problem Based Learning


What is Problem Based Learning?

The norm for most students is that they learn by listening to lectures and reading, and are assessed on their ability to recall and communicate what they have learned. With problem-based learning, students are assessed on their ability to go through a problem solving process.

Origins of PBL

PBL traces its beginnings to 1969 and is credited to McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences in Canada.  The factors that prompted the medical educators to take up such a revolutionary step were many. They were disillusioned with many ills of traditional medical curriculum, particularly the highly lecture- based and strictly discipline-oriented approach in medical education.  Today many universities and educational establishments apply PBL methodology to the teaching of their courses.

Why PBL?

Research shows that PBL gives the learner greater long-term benefits than traditional learning, and many successful and progressive universities around the world use it in their courses. Graduates of PBL courses advance faster and further in their careers.

Other Benefits of PBL

  •     Develops critical and creative thinking
  •     Creates effective problem-solver
  •     Increases motivation
  •     Encourages lateral thinking
  •     Improves communication and networking skills
  •     Is based on real-life situations


What is Involved?

Every PBL project is carefully designed by experts to expose you to the information and skills that we want you to learn. When assigned a project, you are given:

  •     A statement of the problem (e.g. diseased animal; failing business; anorexia case study)
  •     Questions to consider when solving the problem
  •     A framework for the time and effort you should spend on the project
  •     Support from the school


The problems that you will solve in your course will relate to what you are learning. They are problems that you might encounter when working in that field, adapted to your level of study.

Writing PBL Projects

The academy has prepared detailed guidelines for reporting on PBL projects. Read these before you begin work on a PBL project, and don't begin until you fully understand the procedure.

Some Courses Containing PBL Projects

  •     Motivation VBS111
  •     Playleadership VRE101
  •     Wildlife Management BEN205
  •     Cacti and Succulent VHT108
  •     Growing Ferns
  •     Geraniums and Pelargoniums VHT113
  •     Palms and Cycads BHT233
  •     Acacias VHT114
  •     Eucalypts VHT117

Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.