Problem-based learning (PBL) is a method of learning and teaching which allows students to focus on how and what they will learn. An unfamiliar problem, situation or task is presented to the students (by the lecturer or tutor) and students are required to determine for themselves how they will go about solving the problem. This usually occurs through small group work and allows students to utilise their prior knowledge in the topic area and identify the gaps in their knowledge as they attempt to solve the problem.
PBL is a student-centred approach to learning that encourages students to be self-directed, interdependent and independent as they attempt to solve the set problem.
The following resources have been developed to support and guide staff as who wish to utilise PBL approaches:
- The Handbook of Enquiry and Problem-based Learning Irish Case Studies and International Perspectives is a freely available online book of readings which covers all aspects of PBL.
- The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning (IJPBL) is an open access journal that includes articles on both practice and research related to the use of PBL in both school and post-secondary settings.