Problem-Based Science Learning


Unit 1: What is Problem Based Learning Unit 2: How to design and implement a PBL unit

Welcome to Problem Based Science Learning Mini-Course

The main purpose of this course is to introduce participants to what problem based learning is, as well as, guiding participants to develop their own problem based unit to use in their own classes. As a science educator in New York State, our standards are currently changing. According to the next generation standards, our curriculum will be shifted from rote memorization of facts, to problem solving, evaluation, creating, and analyzing data. As a new teacher, basically everything we learned in undergraduate school can be thrown out the window. In this course we will discuss how to incorporate problem solving skills through problem based learning in science classrooms in order to stay aligned with NYS standards.

Mini Course Structure:


This mini course will be broken down into two units. Each unit will consist of two lessons, making it a total of four lessons. Each unit will begin with an overview section describing the purpose and objectives of each lesson. Lessons will consist of readings, videos, reflection activities, and problem based learning planning/guideline instructions. Participants should have their curriculum map or plan along with state standards available to them to allow for easier planning. At the end of each lesson, participants will reflect on their own teaching styles and transition into creating a part of a problem based learning unit. By the end of second unit, each participant will have successfully created a problem based learning unit for their students, as well as gained a deeper understanding of why problem based learning is effective and essential in a 21st century science classroom.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define and see the value in Problem based Learning
  • Identify key learning objectives for students
  • Develop an authentic learning problem/question
  • Construct a curriculum map in which outlines their PBL unit

Course Participants:

Participants of this course must have:

  • 2-3 years of teaching experience in which they can reflect on their prior experiences
  • A deep understanding of their content knowledge
  • The ability to use a wiki site, navigate through online resources, participant in an online community

Participants of this course should have the:

  • Willingness to change/revise course curriculum
  • Ability to honestly reflect on ones teaching

To become an active participant in this mini course please Unit 1: What is Problem Based Learning.