A new toolkit, titled Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education, was published in October 2013, as part of a three-year project involving Keele University, the University of Manchester and Staffordshire University and funded by the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
The project, Hybrid problem-based learning: a scalable approach to sustainability education?, aimed to explore effective ways of adapting traditional problem-based learning (PBL) approaches for the delivery of transformative sustainability education to large student numbers. In this project the three partner universities developed different sustainability-focused modules for different academic levels and students were involved in the development of the pedagogical approaches.
One of the key outcomes of this project is the toolkit Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education – A toolkit for university educators, authored by Sophie Bessant (Keele), Professor Patrick Bailey (Keele), Dr Zoe Robinson (Keele), Bland Tomkinson (Manchester), Rosemary Tomkinson (Manchester), Professor Mark Ormerod (Keele) and Dr Rob Boast (Staffordshire).
The toolkit, with a Foreword by Jonathon Porritt MBE, founder of Forum for the Future and Chancellor of Keele University, is aimed at educators with an interest in one of the following areas:
- Traditional and hybrid problem-based learning (PBL)
- Delivering less resource intensive PBL
- The use of online learning technologies/social media in group-based teaching and learning
- Education for sustainable development (ESD)
- Managing student group working dynamics
The toolkit is structured as follows:
- Why use Problem-Based Learning (PBL) for Sustainability Education?
- Comparing Approaches to PBL
- The Educational Benefits of PBL
- Designing Hybrid PBL Teaching Modules for Sustainability Education
- The Challenges of PBL
- Enabling Effective Student Group Working in PBL Environments
- The Role of Information Technology and Social Media in Hybrid PBL
It also provides a list of relevant information sources and useful pedagogical examples.
Download toolkit Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education – A toolkit for university educators