In a typical Problem-Based Learning process, the teacher presents an open case to the class. A good example would be:A woman with type AB blood gives birth to a child with blood type O. Six years later she gives birth to a second type-O child.This case appears to contradict Mendelian inheritance, which the
students will be obliged to thoroughly review, but it also demands that
they examine of meiosis, gametogenesis, fertilization, and early
development in order to propose some credible explanatory mechanisms.
Step 2: Brainstorm
The next step involves a brainstorm process that includes the
whole classroom. In that process, students will come up with facts
(what they know), ideas (related thoughts and hypotheses), learning
issues (what they need to know more about) and actions (what they need
to do). Here is where GoConqr comes into play as its mind mapping tool
is the perfect resource to structure this brainstorming process in a
coherent and visually compelling way.
Next, students should break up in small groups of 4 or 5 in order to do
some research and move towards a common solution. GoConqr can easily
facilitate this kind of collaboration through its Study Groups option,
which offers a number of functions that foster collaborative learning,
such as discussion threads, polls, group analytics and resource sharing.
Finally, a project-based learning process finishes with a group
presentation in which students must sum up their learning. GoConqr’s Slides are perfect for this. The Slide maker tool offers a great variety of pre-designed templates
that allow for the inclusion of media elements to support their
findings such as videos, images, mind maps, flashcards, notes and
In a case study carried out by the Georgia Institute of Technology, most issues related
to project-based learning boil down to student freedom. Students’ rates
of progression may seem slow. Some students might even struggle to stay
on-target. In addition, teachers unfamiliar with PBL might lose
confidence and feel they are no longer in charge of students’ learning.
In order to tackle these common problems,
teachers must monitor the progress of each study group so they can
intervene if and when necessary.That intervention can take several forms. For instance, they could
start a discussion thread or drop hints by sharing study resources. In
the previous example, the teacher could share a deck of
flashcards about meiosis so students realise they have to increase their
focus on that area.