● My Psychology BLOG!

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Discovering Biological   
(my text)


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Biological Psychology
Introductory Psychology
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     Problem Based Learning

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Problem Based Learning

Problem based learning (PBL) has been used extensively as a substitute or adjunct for the standard lecture format of instruction. I am very excited about the potential of this method for the teaching of biological psychology.

In a nutshell, a problem is submitted to small groups (4-6) of students. The problem relates to a central concept of the course, but should be just beyond the immediate reach of the students. It should be "real world" and engaging, and multiple solutions should be possible.

If you are unfamiliar with this approach, be sure to visit Samford University's PBL site and my other PBL Links.

I am in the process of preparing two problems for each chapter in Discovering Biological Psychology. These problems will be available on the Houghton Mifflin site for instructors using the text. Each problem will contain an instructor/facilitator guidebook, which will include additional resources for solving the problem, evaluation rubrics for different types of assessment, and a model solution. A student guidebook for each problem will contain the problem and suggested steps for solving the problem.

Two sample problems are posted here for your review and feedback. Posting the instructor's guidebook here would obviously defeat the purpose of having students work through the problems. However, if you would like a copy, please email me.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Biological Psychology

This case asks students to write an informed consent form for the gene therapy experiment that killed teenager Jesse Gelsinger in 1999.

Chapter 16: Psychological Disorders

This case asks students to write a set of procedures for clinicians designed to prevent the misdiagnosis of schizophrenia as a result of racial and ethnic differences.

Click here for my "Web Ex" presentation on Problem Based Learning !

Problem Based learning Sites



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updated: 05/01/2008

2007,  Laura Freberg , animations 2007, Karla Freberg