The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

6 Where next?

There are thousands of PBL related sites. The focus here has not been to detail its historical development, but to direct readers to useful information sources that will help one decide whether PBL is for them and, if so, how to take the initial ‘plunge’. Most of the PBL applications included below provide some sort of ‘ad hoc’ evaluation, in addition to highlighting some of the practical benefits and problems encountered by practitioners.

The resources listed here provided free access at time of writing. Sites requiring payment for downloading articles have been excluded.

What is PBL?

Learning Materials in a Problem Based Course. Contains a PBL guide produced by the Department of Materials,Queen Mary College, University of London. Includes information on structuring PBL sessions, assessment and other issues.        

Wikipedia authors, "Problem-based Learning"
Provides useful web links.

A briefing on assessment in PBL, HEA Generic Centre Assessment Series, No. 13 (2004)

Relevance of PBL for Employability Skills

The Skills and Knowledge of the Graduate Economist (2007). Employer survey conducted on behalf of the Royal Economics Society and the Economics Network to identify employer understanding and requirements of economics graduates’ skills and knowledge.
Economics students’ employability profiles (2005)

Economics Students Survey (2006). Updated regularly. See Economics Network website.

Employment skills within an accessible curriculum (ESAC), Student Support and Development Service (SSD), University of LeicesterESAC is a HEFCE funded project exploring how employability skills can be developed in a way that benefits all students equally (i.e. student disability catered for).

Using PBL to Teach Economics

All available at the HEA Subject Network for Economics.

Teaching Structuralist Economics Using Problem Based Learning and Weblogs
Stephen Kinsella, University of Limerick, Ireland (Jan 2008)

Problem Based Learning in final year (year 3) module Economic Growth
Guglielmo Volpe, London Metropolitan University (Oct 2007)

Using Problem Based Learning (PBL) to teach Industrial Economics
John Sedgwick, London Metropolitan University an 2007)

Introducing Problem-Based Learning to a First Year Economics Curriculum
Frank Forsythe, University of Ulster (October 2007). Includes a number of PBL tasks designed for a first year microeconomics module.

Developing a PBL course in Economics: a sceptic's diary (Introduction)
Judith Piggott, Oxford Brookes University (Oct 2002)

Developing a PBL course in Economics: a sceptic's diary (Part 2: Report on Maastrict Visit)
Judith Piggott, Oxford Brookes University (Feb 2003)

Developing a PBL course in Economics: a sceptic's diary (Part 3: Implementation)
Judith Piggott, Oxford Brookes University (May 2004)

Developing a PBL course in Economics: a sceptic's diary (Part 4: 4 years on)
Judith Piggott, Oxford Brookes University (Aug 2006)

Pierre Picard, University of Manchester (Dec 2002)

Using Problem Based Learning (PBL) to Teach Economics
Frank P. Forsythe, University of Ulster at Jordanstown (Oct 2001)

The evolution of PBL in ‘Economics for Business’ (ECQ450) from 2004 to 2009
Denis McGrath, University of Westminster.
This is PBL on a mega-scale, using the intranet facility to organise and run PBL for large numbers of Year 1 students. A reflective piece that is well worth reading.

Promoting Problem-Solving Based Independent Learning in Macroeconomics
David McCausland, University of Aberdeen (April 2001)

Problem Based Learning
Peter Pierpoint, University of Plymouth (Feb 2001)

Other Economics Applications of PBL

Making Sense of Economics: Designing Educational Scenarios for problem-Based Learning, paper presented at conference on Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in collaboration with the Higher Education Academy, January 2007.

Implementing Problem Based Learning in a Science Faculty, University of Western Australia (2008).   This application relates to a module in Resource Economics.

General Sources

Project on The Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning (PEPBL).
This site details a current systematic review and evaluation into the efficacy of PBL within the Nursing curriculum.

Centre for Instructional Support, University of Colorado:

University of Maastricht PBL site
A founder of the PBL model in Europe, with a wide variety of resources available:

Australian PBL teaching & research network, University of Newcastle
comprehensive PBL bibliography: