Motivating students is an important first step in teaching and, according to Dr. Don Woods, one of McMaster's authorities on Problem Based Learning, PBL creates motivation. This motivation could result from an intrinsic quality of problems, or, as Dr. Rosemary Leary states, "Problems themselves appeal to the human desire for resolution and harmony..."
Dr. Woods' research also shows that by using PBL, students develop skills that serve them well in future learning and in the workplace.
What is PBL?
A broad definition of PBL used by Dr. Woods
is, "PBL is any learning environment in which the problem drives the learning.
Where does PBL fit into the teaching and learning spectrum?
The diagram below uses a dichotomy to conceptualize a range of teaching options---who takes the initiative for learning, the teacher or the learner.