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Problem-Based Learning

Engaging Students in Wrestling with Authentic Issues
and Challenges from the Community

Measuring Up to the Challenge

Module Five - The Snake River - Learning by Doing
What is the problem here?

Stages of Problem-Solving

Define Problem
Gather Data & Explore Possibilities
Invent Options
Evaluate Options
Create a Plan

In too many cases, groups rush the problem identification stage. Impatient to get on with the apparent task at hand, they jump on symptoms rather than causes in ways that often complicate or worsen the real problems.

PBL usually starts with an exploration stage, with students gathering background information and acquainting themselves with the complexities of the situation.

When the problem is right in their own backyard, their exploration will range from reading local newspaper stories through interviews and field visits.

Imagine that the Snake River is in your own backyard and you are a student team just getting started on a PBL unit.

Just what is the problem? To answer this question, you and your partner need background information. Start with the article below.

What are the most important issues for the Snake?

Make a list in your word processor.

EPA says dams on Snake River must come down to save salmon

 How would this stage differ with a real local problem?

Next module. Please do not proceed until asked to do so by the workshop leader.

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