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ERIC Number: EJ864287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1933-4850
Implementing Problem-Based Learning in an Undergraduate Psychology Course
Searight, H. Russell; Searight, Barbara K.
InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, v4 p69-76 2009
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a small-group pedagogical technique widely used in fields such as business, medicine, engineering, and architecture. In PBL, pre-written cases are used to teach core course content. PBL advocates state that course material is more likely to be retained and applied when presented as cases reflecting "real life" applications of class material. However, rather than traditional lecture-discussion, PBL encourages student autonomy in analyzing cases, with the instructor serving initially as a structuring facilitator before gradually becoming less active as students take more responsibility for their learning. As students proceed through each case, they address four dimensions: What they know, what they want to know, possible causal hypotheses, and questions that can be answered through library research. The PBL cases referred to herein were developed and employed for an undergraduate psychology course, "Psychology of the Exceptional Child." Students completing this course included psychology, special education, and human service majors and have positively evaluated this technique as a teaching tool.
Park University, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152. Tel: 816-584-6770; Fax: 308-224-3493; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A