Lately, there’s been a lot of exciting talk about problem based learning (PBL). Yet, as exciting as it’s been to talk about, I agree with those who believe that PBL is (albeit, by design) highly subjective and hard to grasp. I’ve been doing a lot of research on my own, and I’ve found the following resources to be some of the best:
The West Virginia Department of Education has published a set of PBL resources that can be used when planning PBL lessons/units. I’ve found the rubrics especially helpful in providing a concise look at the skill sets required of PBL lessons/units.
I was very excited to find the University of Delaware Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse. This project, funded by the Pew Charitable Trust has compiled a large database of articles, lesson plans, and resources that can be searched by discipline. I realize these are college level projects, but the beauty of all PBL projects is that they are easily modified and fit perfectly in mixed ability and grade level classrooms.
You will have to sign up for a password to access these resources. It took about one week for my application to be approved, but it was well worth it. Here are several sample lesson plans:
A Bad Day for Sandy Dayton
Barbara Duch, Physics
Responding to Economic Crisis in Africa
Gretchen Bauer, Interdisciplinary Science
If you want to browse the database before signing up, let me know and I’ll work with you to set up a demo.