John R. Savery
how that information might impact on developing a solution to the problem.
A closing analysis of what has been learned from work with the problem and a discussion of what concepts and principles have been learned are essential. Given that PBL is a very engaging, motivating and involving form of experi- ential learning, learners are often very close to the immediate details of the problem and the proposed solution. The purpose of the post-experience debrieng process (see Steinwachs, 1992; Thiagarajan, 1993 for details on debrieng) is to consolidate the learning and ensure that the experience has been reected upon. Barrows (1988) advises that learners examine all facets of the PBL process to better understand what they know, what they learned, and how they performed.
Self and peer assessment should be carried out at the completion of each problem and at the end of every curricular unit. These assessment activities related to the PBL process are closely related to the previous essential characteristic of reection on knowledge gains. The signicance of this activity is to reinforce the self-reective nature of learning and sharpen a range of metacognitive processing skills.
The activities carried out in problem-based learning must be those valued in the
A rationale and guidelines for the selection of authentic problems in PBL is discussed extensively in Savery & Duy (1995), Stinson and Milter (1996), Wilkerson and Gijselaers (1996), and MacDonald (1997). The transfer of skills learned through PBL to a real-world context is also noted by Bransford, Brown, & Cocking (2000, p. 77).
Student examinations must measure student progress towards the goals of
The goals of PBL are both knowledge-based and process-based. Students need to be assessed on both dimensions at regular intervals to ensure that they are beneting as intended from the PBL approach. Students are responsible for the content in the curriculum that they have “covered” through engagement with problems. They need to be able to recognize and articulate what they know and what they have learned.
Problem-based learning must be the pedagogical base in the curriculum and
not part of a didactic curriculum.