October 1, 2017

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Problem Based Learning

October 1, 2017

I read an article in the ASHA Leader a few months ago that inspired the course prep I was engaged in. The article described Problem Based Learning (PBL), “a learner-centered style of teaching that facilitates knowledge acquisition through social interactions”. To implement PBL, teams of students are given a case study to review. Each team member takes on a specific role (e.g., chair, timekeeper, scribe, reference collector) as they analyze the case. The team then presents the case to the entire class with questions posed, answers found, and resources discovered. Engaged class discussions based on the findings are led by the team. For more specific details, the article can be found here:



I decided to use PBL in my Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis course. Thus far, I have

absolutely loved it! My students are engaged with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code in meaningful ways as they research unique case studies (https://bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/170706-compliance-code-english.pdf). The conversation that is generated during class is absolutely fascinating and I look forward to going to class each session. I am constantly impressed with the effort being put forth by my students and I think they are truly learning critical information that will support their future work as Board Certified Behavior Analysts.


As a professor, teaching is only one aspect of my job but oftentimes it can be one of the most rewarding! If you are looking for some new ways to update a class or you are starting a new course from scratch, I highly recommend Problem Based Learning.


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