“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Problem Based Learning PBL/Design Thinking DT – learning through action

”The responsibility of a higher education institution for a student does not end with graduation. One of the objectives of every university is to equip graduates with the skills they need to adapt to the changing labour market.” Such a view is expressed, among others, in the declaration of the Conference of the European Union of Rectors as early as in 1998.

The key skills of university graduates that help, both in professional and private life, include: creativity and independent approach to problems and tasks; cooperation and ability to work in a group; optimal planning and effective organization of own and group work; skilful use of various sources of information and integration of knowledge and classification of information in terms of objectives; clear formulation and expression of opinions. These skills are currently being sought from potential employees by employers.

PBL/DT enable the transfer of knowledge, competences and skills through independent work of students and the search for answers or solutions to a question, a problem or a challenge in the way of their own work supported by contact with a scientific mentor.

Working in PBL/DT, students are active and projects engage their minds, leading directly from acquisition of knowledge and skills to the resolution of real problems. Students learn practical things, confronting many solutions with the state of technologies used in industry, they are also actively involved in teaching engaging their own search for answers.

Based on surveys and interviews with employers from various industries, the list of most sought after graduates’ competences among employers include:

  • problem solving ability – 91%
  • ability to work in a team – 86%
  • foreign language skills – 65%
  • computer literacy, using MS Office tools– about 30%

All these competences are trained in PBL/DT teaching.

The most important assumptions of PBL/DT education:
The focus is shifted
- from the teacher to the student,
- from the teaching content to the learning outcomes.
Learners work in groups.
Learners have the right to make mistakes.
Learners acquire knowledge through their own experiences and search.

Learners are emotionally involved in solving real problems.

Operating diagram in PBL/DT techniques

What is the difference between the PBL and a traditional approach?