Problem-based learning in natural resource management

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The Cloudworks Team
29 July 2008

Students can learn from trying to solve realistically messy and ill-defined problems, given sufficient resources, scaffolding and support.


In this course, students undertake three major four-week activities, in each of which they are given a situation or problem, relating to the curriculum being taught at that time, and they have to come up with an answer or solution. Their work is guided by scaffolding referred to as “The Approach”. This breaks down the process into stages such as identifying relevant knowledge and experience in the group and generating relevant questions for members of their small working group – or the teacher – to answer before the next class. (External students collaborate using an asynchronous bulletin board.) Being senior undergraduates or postgraduates, students are expected to conduct independent research and locate their own resources, in addition to those to which they are directed by the course guidance. Both internal and external students have sessions to introduce them to the nature of problem-based learning and to correct misconceptions. [Lisa Lobry de Bruyn]

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