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Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

  • 1.  Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hello everyone and welcome to MY TESOL!

    I've heard a lot about Problem-based learning (PBL, not project-based learning) lately.
    I feel like it is time to experiment to use it in my classes for many reasons but some of the strongest reasons that I have are:
    - to give my students an opportunity to realize what, how and why they want to learn;
    - to be involved into the learning process;
    - to learn to be responsible for their learning;
    - to teach my students to develop such as problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking and leadership skills.

    Have you and your students ever used PBL? Do you have some practical advice to share from your teaching experience with me?
    I appreciate any information and recommendations you think I should be aware of before I use PBL with my students.

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    Leila Serikova
    International University in Central Asia (IUCA), Tokmok
    Kyrgyzstan
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  • 2.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Leila:

    Can you explain for everyone what problem-based learning is?  That may help people to think of examples they have used in their classes.

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    Nikki Ashcraft
    Associate Teaching Professor
    University of Missouri
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  • 3.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 4 days ago
    I have occasionally used it in my teaching and i have found it very useful.
    - more interactions in class if we can implement it in a proper way
    - more critical thinking
    Yet:
    - more time for preparation
    - time-consuming in class
    - not suitable for all language learning situation

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    Anh Vo
    Danang University of Foreign Languagues
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  • 4.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 4 days ago
    Thanks for sharing, Anh.  What kinds of "problems" have you posed for your students?

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    Nikki Ashcraft
    Associate Teaching Professor
    University of Missouri
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  • 5.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hello Anh!
    Thank you for sharing with your experience about using PBL in your classes.

    I have never used PBL in my language classes. However I think it might work after presentations and practice of some functional language.
    I am not sure I will have enough time in my language classes.

    Could you share with your experience of using PBL in your classes?

    Best,
    Leila

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    Leila Serikova
    International University in Central Asia (IUCA), Tokmok
    Kyrgyzstan
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  • 6.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 4 days ago
    Problem-based learning is student-centered learning in which in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving a real-life problem.

    I wonder why this thing is so new. Anyone who has done team projects with students have done this. My experience was working with students in science classes where we would design a project and they wolud work together with the teacher as a facilitator. People learn from their experiences, failures and successes. I´ve always been against the teacher as the central figure in a classroom.

    Sergio

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    Sergio Lozano
    Scientific Publications Coordinator
    Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
    Mexico
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  • 7.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hello Sergio,
    thank you for responding and sharing with your experience.

    Teachers in public shools in my country do not use PBL a lot because of lack of time for preparation. So, this method ifs quite familiar for most of our teachers but not all of them can afford to use it 2-4 times a term. In spite of all beneficial qualities and strength of PBL our students do not experience this method a lot and practising PBL only once a year is not enough both for students and their teachers to realise all  its advantages.

    Could you share with one of your successful PBL method class experience/ How long did it take you to prepare a plan for PBL class and how much time did it take your students to finish it?

    Best,

    Leila

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    Leila Serikova
    International University in Central Asia (IUCA), Tokmok
    Kyrgyzstan
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  • 8.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 3 days ago
    Edited by Leila Serikova 3 days ago
    Hi Nikki,

    yes, I will describe how I use PBL with my Pedagogy department students:
    1) Students are provided with some real-life classroom situations relating to classroom problems. The cases are described with some details including students' age, personal characteristic or with some bachground information about the class, school or familes students come from.
    2) Students are divided into groups randomly (It is better to regroup students with different abilities and interests in order to give them an opportunity to learn from each other).
    They are asked to discuss suggested cases and identify a problem in each. (e.g.: a) Some students don't often do homework or cheat a lot during homework checking. b) A student misses a lot of classes or is often late to first classes. 3) Students finish speaking activities very quickly or are not interested in speaking practice). Then each group chooses a problem they are more interested in. If a few groups choose the same topic/problem, it is ok because they can decide to solve the same problem in different ways widening their knowledge and learning from each other.
    3) Then each group think of reasons to a chosen problem situation and come up with suggestions how to solve a problem.
    A teacher monitors students' groupwork and participates if students need some more guidance.
    A teacher provides some resources to help students to investigate their topic and analyze more ways to find solutions.
    4) Students prepare a schedule for their groupwork meetings with deadlines for some individual work.
    A teacher helps students to share responsibility in groups and to follow their groupwork plans in order to organize some meetings with other groups where all groups share their experience about steps they have experimented with, discuss problems they face and give suggestions to each other how to avoid some potential problems.
    5) A final step of PBL is a group presentation where students share with their solutions to chosen problems and provide a written report of their group work.

    There are some steps that are challenging for me and my students:
    - equal participation of members of each group; (I experienced with giving roles to members: a leader/fascilitator, a recorder/secretary, a journalist/interviewer, a time-keeper/manager, a presenter, summarizer. This helped me to involve every student into the process).
    - some personal conflicts during group meetings (Encouraging students to set up rules for effective group wolk).
    - evaluating final group presentations and every student's participation in PBL steps. (A teacher can suggest students to create a rubric themselves to evaluate their group presentations).

    How do you use a PBL and what challenges do you face with your students while using PBL?

    Hope to hear soon from you.

    ------------------------------
    Leila Serikova
    International University in Central Asia (IUCA), Tokmok
    Kyrgyzstan
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  • 9.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hello Leila,

    I use PBL the majority of the time when I teach live online with adults but have taught children in the past. I have similar opinions as Sergio and don't see the teacher as central to the learning process, it is a two-way activity. I do think though that the age of the students is an important factor for this kind of learning. For example, with learners who are under 18, they will need a little extra guidance from the teacher to really get any benefit out of this type of learning. Student classes vary from year to year. You may get a class where most of the students are good and are willing to collaborate with each other, you might have a class where students can be a bit more disruptive. Therefore consider whether PBL is going to be appropriate for the students in your class.

    With regards to some of the challenges you face, it's more preparation for you but in your situation, it might be an idea to prepare a suggested rubric and working effectively rules for them, then they can discuss with you what they would like to change.  Also with regard to roles.  If you can, get the groups to do two or three short activities and to rotate their roles each time, so most group members get to experience one or two roles.

    Hope this helps.

    Lynne Thompson
    MA in Online and Distance Education.

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    Lynne Thompson
    Mrs
    United Kingdom
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  • 10.  RE: Have you ever used Problem-based learning in your classes with your students??

    Posted 19 hours ago
    Hello Lynne,

    thank you for your recommendations about the age of students, reflecting and improving a rubric to gether with learners and aboutrotating students' roles in their groups to widen their experience of more than role.

    I think your tips will help me a lot.)))

    Best,
    Leila

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    Leila Serikova
    International University in Central Asia (IUCA), Tokmok
    Kyrgyzstan
    ------------------------------