Problem-based learning - a new professional development workshop
Increasingly, tertiary organisations are recognising the value of problem-based learning (PBL) in preparing students for their future working and learning lives. The aim of this student-centred teaching method is to develop their ability to problem solve, enhance their self-directed learning skills and enable them to collaborate effectively, often through the use of “real-world” work scenarios.
Cath Fraser's newly-developed workshop for Ako Aotearoa - Problem-based learning: Creating student-led activities for work-ready outcomes - provides a valuable opportunity for participants to explore how they can utilise PBL with their learners.
Educators in Palmerston North and Wellington were the first to interact with the workshop's comprehensive material and activities at two recent public sessions. The 28 participants represented a diverse range of organisations, such as Massey University, Universal College of Learning, Horizon Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Eastern Institute of Technology, Whitireia NZ and Open Polytechnic.
Building a PBL plan
As PBL has a strong emphasis on active learning, learner autonomy and self-management, Cath outlines the role of the teacher - as being more like a "tutor" who guides facilitation - and includes discussion on group work, the roles within teams, and how to assess PBL projects. Cath also references the work of Geoff Scott (Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Sustainability at the University of Western Sydney) that focuses on students being 'work ready plus'.
Participants also work through the step-by-step plan to design their own PBL activity.These activities are peer reviewed by the other workshop participants and modified as a result of their feedback. During the workshop, Cath uses videos to spark off the questioning and brainstorming that lead into planning and critiquing these PBL projects.
The following comments are indicative of the positive feedback received from participants who attended those sessions:
“It [the workshop] gave me a practical outcome which I can go away with and use straight away.”
“Great afternoon session creating a PBL activity and sharing with others.”
“The handbook is extremely well put together and a valuable planning resource.”
We are pleased to add this valuable workshop to our PD programme confident that it will promote worthwhile changes to teaching practice that contribute to learners success in the workplace.
About our Professional Development programme
This workshop is part of Ako Aotearoa’s Professional Development programme – an initiative to bring high quality, evidence-based and affordable professional development to educators and managers across New Zealand’s diverse tertiary education sector.
Contact us to discuss a tailored workshop for your staff, group or organisation with special rates and time to suit.
For further information you can contact your local hub manager: