Cases of community associated MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have increased in recent years. Once usually seen only in hospital settings, the infections now occur in groups of people, such as athletes, who share personal items such as towels or razors. Image: Electron microscope view of S. aureus.
If you are a teacher already experienced in implementing problem-based (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL) in the classroom, you know how enjoyable an experience it is. Students are more engaged in and more enthusiastic about their science study, and you don’t have to listen to complaints and questions about “Why do we have to learn this?” or “I’ll never use this again in my life.” You already know that students learn more content and retain it longer with problem-based or case-based learning.
If you have not already used PBL or CBL in your classroom, you will find the resources in this section to guide you through the process. It is a different teaching experience from the standard lecture lesson, but you will find that your students will not be the only ones more engaged in the experience.
The resources in this section will help you implement the PBL or CBL modules in your classroom and provide you with resource materials for your professional development. The resources make it easy for you to reference information that you may need for a professional development presentation at your school, at a conference, or just for your own use.
For example, Comparing Educational Approaches to Learning compares different educational strategies by listing characteristic components. This is not meant to say that one strategy is better than another. Each may have its own place in delivering good science instruction. However, if you want to focus on one characteristic more than another, for example, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, or working in teams, this table will help you choose a strategy that incorporates more of this component into student tasks.
Other pages such as Learning in Teams, Assessing Student Behavior in PBL/CBL classrooms, or Developing Rubrics for PBL/CBL , focus more on implementing problem-based or case-based learning modules in your classroom.
It is our hope that this section helps you implement PBL/CBL modules and that your students benefit from increased practice of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the collaborative atmosphere of PBL/CBL, and open-ended scenarios.