Problem-based learning at Franklin College. Brack W. Hale Sara Steinert-Borella Caroline Wiedmer. Problem-based learning (PBL) overview. Experience in the sciences Background on PBL PBL and Franklin’s new first-year program PBL and Franklin’s core reform PBL and Academic Integrity.
Brack W. Hale
Hazen (2002) discusses the reality of scientific literacy in American society. His research has found statistics like “fewer than ten percent of [Harvard] graduating seniors could explain why it's hotter in summer than in winter” and has led him to the conclusion:
Most colleges and universities have the same dirty little secret: we are all turning out scientifically illiterate students who are incapable of understanding many of the important newspaper items published on the very day of their graduation.
Greenwald (2000) suggests asking the IPF questions:
Sources: Barrows 1986; Greenwald 2000; Barrett 2005
An environmental monitoring team working with National Cane Toad Taskforce plans to release millions of non-native lavender bugs over the next two summers to try to control the spread of the cane toad into Western Australia. The cane toad was introduced into Australia in the 1930’s to control insect pests on sugar cane crop. Although the pest control effort failed miserably, the toad populations spread like wildfire, first through the Northern Territories and Queensland, and now threatens Western Australia. For an amphibian, it has a broad environmental tolerance (including eutrophic waters and certain herbicides), eats most anything, reproduces prolifically, and produces a toxin throughout its life-cycle that kills most predators that try to eat it. The toxin also affects any organism that comes into contact with it, including humans and pets.
Native frog species avoid the lavender beetle, as it is poisonous. Cane toads however eat them and consequently die. Laboratory and field studies indicate that cane toad populations can be significantly reduced and possibly even eradicated through this method. If the lavender beetle fails, the cane toad will continue to devastate the unique biodiversity of Australia as it spreads across the continent, endangering crocodiles, dingos, and many snake species. Is the introduction of the lavender beetle into Western Australia a reasonable and promising plan to control the cane toad?
Adapted from Batzli et al. 2005
Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cane-toad.jpg
Sources: Barrett 2005, personal experience
Source: B. Hale
Source: B. Hale
Sara Steinert Borella
The components woven together to provide a unified experience that introduces students to—and helps create—a challenging and purposeful multi-cultural and international academic learning environment.
Students become acquainted with learning resources through integrated, embedded assignments:
Problem-Based Learning as an Approach to Core Reform
Franklin College Switzerland
Based heavily upon knowledge acquisition from traditional disciplines
Knowledge not as fact-oriented as it used to be
Your background and location influence “knowledge”
These topics to be organized under five or six different problems/themes, such as
NB: Topics reassessed/updated periodically
The Mellon Foundation
Barrett, T. 2005. What is problem-based learning? IN: Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching. O’Neill, G., Moore, S., McMullin, B. (Eds). Dublin: AISHE.
Barrows, H. 1986. A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Medical Education, 20: 481-486.
Batzli, J., Ebert-May, D., Hodder, J. 2005. Bridging the pathway from instruction to research. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 4:105-107.
Greenwald, N. 2000. Learning from problems. The Science Teacher, 67:28-32.
Hazen, R. 2002. Why should you be scientifically literate? ActionBioscience.org. http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/hazen.html