Western Kentucky University

Introduction - Engaging Students through the Use of Problems - FaCET

Engaging Students through the Use of Problems

Dr. Stefanie Chye & Mr. Stanley Goh
Centre for Educational Development
Republic Polytechnic , Singapore


The quest for more effective forms of teaching and learning has led many to see problems as an alternative means of structuring the experiences of students into learning possibilities. The use of problems models how we engage with real world situations and in so doing forces the students to engage and take responsibility for their learning as they seek to define, generate learning issues and then go on to solve them independently (Tan, 2003, p. 32). Learning would be self directed (Barrows, 1996) as students are allowed to chart their inquiry paths to the learning objectives that they set.

Problems are used as the basis for teaching in a number of contexts with medicine, nursing, engineering and business being the most common disciplines that have adopted problems though it is not confined to these.


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