Moving Beyond Chalk and Talk: Using Problem-Based-Learning In A Research Methods Course Sequence

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Department of Food and Economic Resources
The average adult can concentrate for only about eight to ten minutes during an hour-long lecture. Thus, students’ ability to absorb information may be seriously impeded if we college professors talk nonstop. One alternative to the traditional “chalk and talk” instructional method is problem-based learning (PBL) – an instructional approach using real world problems as a format for students to acquire critical thinking, problem solving and group interaction skills. We describe how we transformed a two-course sequence in research methods into a problem-based-learning format. Student-reported benefits of the PBL approach include the need for higher-order thinking, improved group interaction skills, relevance of course material to real world situations, higher motivation and an overall higher level of class enjoyment.
Problem-based learning (PBL), Education, Critical thinking