Schulz Information Center

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
—Thomas Edison

SSU faculty member

Problem and Project-based Learning for the Common Good

Problem-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems. The goals of problem-based learning are to help the students develop flexible knowledge, effective problem solving skills, self-directed learning, effective collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation.1

Project-based learning is an instructional method that provides students with complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that includes teacher facilitation, but not direction.2

The difference between the two lies largely in their application: problem-based learning focuses on the problem and the process, while project-based learning focuses on the product. Learn moreOpens in new tab.about the differences between problem and project-based learning.

When either is used to address a community problem or project, the result may look a lot like service-learning and classes can use the Risk Management policy.

Additionally, faculty can work with the CCE to deepen the experience for all involved. Please contact the CCE to discuss this further.

1Hmelo-Silver, C.E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and How Do Students Learn?Opens in new tab.Educational Psychology Review, 16(3).

2Buck Institute for EducationOpens in new tab. (2003). Project Based Learning Handbook.