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Making Learning Real with Problem-Based Case Learning

Problem-based Case Learning (PBCL) is an effective practice for producing changes in teaching strategies and subsequent redesign of courses into integrated, assessment-driven, learning experiences set in a business context. PBCL is based on yet unsolved problematic local industry situations that require learners to build on their knowledge, engage the situation to build a depth of competence, and reflect on their own thinking and process. The approach facilitates development of complex communication, expert thinking essential in a global economy and advancement in adaptive expertise. Over 400 faculty from participating ATE projects have adopted PBCL resulting in improved student learning and professional development of faculty. Building on what was learned in previous NSF-funded projects and the ideas and input of John Bransford at the LIFE Center at the University of Washington, Nashville State Technical College in partnership with WGBH, produces and disseminates video, web-based and print resources for professional development of faculty and for use in classrooms. Training teams of experienced practitioners are established at Nashville State Community College and the Midwest Center for Information Technology in Nebraska to extend the effectiveness of PBCL by making the fundamental principles more easily accessible to a wider audience of practitioners. The effect of the instruction on student performance and employer satisfaction is measured. The project also evaluates the changes in colleges due to the development of a community of PBCL practitioners. An online orientation workshop is available here to help those who may be interested in the process familiarize themselves with Problem-Based Case Learning (PBCL).

Alternate Title Innovation in Teaching and Learning for Technological Education
ATE Area
Education Level
Award Number 0703167
ATE Principal Investigator James Johnson
Funding Status
ATE Start Date 2007-08-01
ATE Expiration Date 2012-03-31
Primary Institution Nashville State Technical Community College
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