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Inquiry, Discovery, and Problem-Based Learning



"Teaching Large Classes" by Graham Gibbs, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia): (Can be viewed online with RealPlayer.)

Books and Articles

Breen, Rosanna and Lindsay, Roger(1999). Academic Research and Student Movitation, Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 24, No. 1.

Duch, Barbara, Groh, Suan, and Allen, Deborah E., Ed. (2001) The Power of Problem-Based Learning: A Practical "How-to" for Teaching Undergraduate Courses in Any Discipline. Stylus Publishing. (Reviewed in The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2001)

Ebert-May, Diane. "Applying Principles of Learning: From Assessment to Research," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2004):

Ebert-May D, Brewer, C.A., and Allred. S. (1997). Innovation in Large Lectures -- Teaching for Active Learning. Bioscience 47(9): 601-607.

"Education Through Experience: A White Paper." The President's Commission on Undergraduate Education and Life, Case Western Reserve University.

Elgin, Sarah. "Bringing Research into the Classroom: Life Sciences and Related Areas within Psychology," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2004):

Engel, Renata, Dudley, Valerie and Thurman, James. "Pedagogy and Technology: Faculty Development's Piece of the Undergraduate Research Puzzle," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2004):

Healey, M. (2005) Linking Research and Teaching Exploring Disciplinary Spaces and the Role of Inquiry-Based Learning, in Barnett, R. (ed) Reshaping the University: New Relationships Between Research, Scholarship and Teaching. McGraw-Hill/Open University Press (forthcoming).

Impey, Christopher. "Designing and Teaching an Inquiry-Based Curriculum," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2006):

Mierson, Sheella with Parikh, Anuj A. (2000). "Stories From the Field: Problem-Based Learning from a Teacher's and a Student's Perspective." Change, January/February 2000, 21-27.

Nelson, C.E. (1989). "Skewered on the unicorn's horn: The illusion of tragic tradeoff between content and critical thinking in the teaching of science." In Enhancing Critical Thinking in the Sciences (Ed. L.W. Crow) pp 17-27. Soc. College Science Teachers, National Science Teachers Assoc. Washington, DC.

Novak, G. M., Gavrin, A. D., Christian, W., & Patterson, E.T. (1999). Just in Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Prentice Hall. The authors discuss an approach to tailor lecture time to the concepts students find most difficult. See also:

Campus Programs

Clean up an environmental disaster, or see if you can afford that new red car in problem-based learning exercises.

Inquiry-based learning - or discovery or problem-based learning - allows students to apply their knowledge of chemistry, calculus, biology, and other academic subjects to real-world problems. It's similar to the case method taught in business, law, and medical schools. Problems are often drawn from actual events and can be geared to any level from introductory to advanced.

University of Delaware, PBL: Problem-Based Learning
PBL at Delaware plus links to many other PBL sites
PBL Clearinghouse: peer-reviewed problems and articles

SUNY Buffalo, Case Studies in Science

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Inquiry-Based Courses
Burch Field Research Seminars

University of Texas at Austin, Discovery Learning Project
Campus Discovery Learning Center

Eric Mazur and Active Learning at Harvard

Course and Curricular Innovation

The Collaborative Research Model: Student Learning Teams in Undergraduate Research, University of Oregon: A flexible model of collaborative student research in coursework across the curriculum.

Conferences and Workshops

Problem-Based Learning:  Transforming Student Learning Through Colloboration:
Spring 2009

PBL2004, an international conference in Cancun, Mexico, hosted by Tec de Monterrey:
June 13-19, 2004

Problem-Based Learning: From Ideas to Solutions through Communication:
January 21-23, 2004, Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA

This workshop demonstrated problem-based learning (PBL) and model ways that PBL can be used effectively in all disciplines, in upper and lower division courses, and in all size classes. One focus of this program was writing effective problem-based materials; participants left the session with new or revised problems for use in their couses. Another focus was engaging students in research and communication as part of the process of PBL.
Creative Learning Solutions, Inc., founded by a Delaware professor, offers workshops in problem-based learning to a variety of corporate and academic clients.
Contact: Sheella Mierson, Ph.D.
109 Chapel Hill Drive, Newark, Delaware 19711, USA
voice (302) 738-4173, fax (302) 738-5667

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