Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) at IMSA

Problem-based learning is a student-centered, inquiry-based instructional approach utilizing a real-world, ill-defined (messy) problem to both introduce and explore specific content. PBL institutes are designed for educators of all disciplines. These learning opportunities introduce participants to an instructional technique that is designed to engage their students in deep, meaningful learning. Participants learn the fundamentals through an immersive experience, gaining a student’s perspective in the process. PBL is rooted in real-world experiences Therefore, exploring how to design and successfully implement original PBL units unique to one’s own classroom is highlighted.

PBL Learning Opportunities

We offer two options to experience PBL professional development: online, self-directed learning, and in-person institutes. To register, follow the links below under “Section Links”.

For a customized, school-wide plan, please reach out to our team to learn more!

To pay via purchase order or for any questions, please contact Karina at kvillareal@imsa.edu.


Problem-Based Learning Course 1: Fundamentals

REGISTER: June 14th, 9 am – 12 pm | June 21st, 9 am – 12 pm
Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours
In this introductory course, participants are briefly immersed in a Problem-Based Learning activity. Participants also work to define the technique and outline the general framework of a PBL through the student and teacher perspectives. Lastly, participants begin to identify problems they can use to teach specific classroom content.


Problem-Based Learning Course 2: Details in Design

REGISTER: June 15th, 9 am – 12 pm | July 7th, 9 am – 12 pm
Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours

In this course, we explore how to design our own Problem-Based Learning (PBL) units for the K-12 classroom. Through exploring the structure of example PBL units, participants employ core design elements of the technique to develop a PBL unit unique to their classroom and students. Suggested Prerequisite: PBL 1: Fundamentals


Problem-Based Learning Course 3: Applications in the Classroom

REGISTER: June 16th, 9 am – 12 pm | July 28th, 9 am – 12 pm 
Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours

This course focuses on techniques to prepare the teacher and their students for the successful implementation of a Problem-Based Learning unit. Topics such as inquiry-based learning, problem-solving, and building collaboration, as well as assessments, are explored.



Problem-Based Learning Course 1: Fundamentals

REGISTER: JUNE | JULY | AUGUST
Format: 100% Asynchronous | Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours
This course is designed to be an autonomous learning experience. First, we introduce the learner to the fundamentals of the Problem-Based Learning technique. Learners then work to define the technique, identify important characteristics and explore the student experience of the process. Lastly, learners identify problems they can use to teach specific classroom content. Instructor feedback is provided throughout the course.


Problem-Based Learning Course 2: Details in Design

REGISTER: JUNE | JULY | AUGUST
Format: 100% Asynchronous | Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours.

This course is the second in the PBL course series and is designed to be an autonomous learning experience. In this course, learners explore design elements involved in creating Problem-Based Learning for the K-12 classroom. Through exploration of example units, learners learn to apply the design elements to create their own PBL unit unique to their classroom. Instructor feedback is provided throughout the course. Suggested Prerequisite: PBL 1: Fundamentals


Problem-Based Learning Course 3: Applications in the Classroom

REGISTER: JUNE | JULY | AUGUST
Format: 100% Asynchronous | Cost: $50.00 | CPDUs: 3 hours

The third in our online PBL series, this course focuses on techniques to prepare the teacher and their students for the successful implementation of a Problem-Based Learning unit. Topics such as inquiry-based learning, problem-solving, and building collaboration, as well as assessments, are explored. Instructor feedback is provided throughout the course. Suggested Prerequisite: PBL 2: Details in Design