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Creating a PBL Scenario and Tasks

Creating a scenario based task for your students will enhance their learning experience in your course as well as provide an opportunity for their mastery of 21st Century capabilities.

To build a PBL scenario, you need to know: (1) the learning outcomes for the scenario, (2) deliverables for the students to produce that will demonstrate mastery of those learning outcomes, (3) employer involvement in the design and implementation of the scenario, tasks, and your assessments, (4) your chosen assessment approach, and (5) the support materials needed to provide sufficient but not too much support for students and other instructors.

Your learning outcomes should be a subset of the learning outcomes for your course. You might choose to have your entire course and its learning outcomes incorporated into a pbl scenario and set of tasks. Or you might choose to have some of the course learning outcomes addressed through more traditional methods (e.g. lecture, individual labs)  and others addressed through a pbl scenario and tasks.

Once you have decided on your student learning outcomes, find a person from your field that is working in an industry that might employer your students when they have completed their education. This person can greatly enhance the authenticity of the scenario and will ensure that students are learning skills that are needed in the real world. You can use the industry representative to brainstorm as you are first creating the scenario, review student materials as you develop them, critique the students’ work, and refer you to others from industry that might be helpful to you and your students.

Now that you have identified the SLO’s your scenario and tasks will address and consulted with your industry rep on deliverables, context, assessment, and language to incorporate into your scenario and tasks, you are ready to work through our task-building scenarios (in a workshop or on your own) and use our Task Builder to develop and produce a pbl scenario and tasks.

We’ve created scenarios and tasks for faculty interested in creating and implementing PBL with scenario in their classrooms. Our scenarios guide faculty participants through building a scenario and tasks with the Task Builder. The Task Builder is a GoogleSites-based template that is populated with suggested task content. You can go directly to the Task Builder to build your own task and scenarios. However, we strongly encourage you to at least read through our workshops (search for Professional Development in our Library of Completed Tasks).

Information on upcoming hosted workshops is available on the Events page of this site.  If your project or institution want to host a workshop, we will be glad to put you in touch with PBL facilitators trained to lead faculty through the process of building problem-based learning scenarios and tasks.

You may want to visit Other Resources for information on the theory and research behind PBL and PBL with scenarios (SBL).


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