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PBL Clearinghouse Problems

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The Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse

Welcome to the PBL Clearinghouse!

Please use the appropriate filters below to narrow your search. You can click on problem titles (below the filter list) for a short preview. Click on the "Download" link to access the Instructor Guide and Handouts files. 



"A Poem has a Life before it Gets into my Anthology?": Manuscript Editing and Problem-Based Learning"A Poem has a Life before it Gets into my Anthology?": Manuscript Editing and Problem-Based LearningMcKenna, Bernardmckennab@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEnglishIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass5FE7CF5D70724E0D8B5F14B1207303FE">Where does the poem you read in an anthology originate? Is the copy in your anthology a good copy of that original? You may not consider such questions. However, thinking about these things can help you make an intellectual and emotional connection with writers and with the poetry you read, particularly those writers and works in the age before computers or typewriters. The answers to such questions can help you better connect with the writer's world. Technology can actually help in this process. Specifically, when you work in groups to transcribe versions of a high-quality photographic image of a manuscript "fair copy" of a poem, you get a sense of the technology of the age in which 19th century poets worked and the tools they used. Rather than a computer or a text messenger system, writers worked with pen and ink and on paper; both of which are very different from their 21st century counterparts. Moreover, comparing the transcriptions from the various groups can give you a sense of some of the problems printers encountered when typesetting author's drafts, even a "fair copy." Transcribing a poem from a high-resolution image will allow you to enter the 19th century, at least for a few hours. Conducting research into the writer, the writer's life, and the essays written about the writer will enable you to practice research skills.</div>1-3 hours Poem has a Life before it Gets into my Anthology___ Manuscript Editing and Problem-Based
"How Will I Know if My Students Learned What They're Supposed to?" - Curriculum Evaluation in the NCLB Era"How Will I Know if My Students Learned What They're Supposed to?" - Curriculum Evaluation in the NCLB EraFord, Danielledjford@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEducationIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClassAA81660A316A4DDEACA9F39CA293901E">In this problem designed for teacher education majors, students evaluate science curricula for (1) their coverage of state and national science education standards, (2) the extent to which they use research-supported models of inquiry, (3) their sensitivity to research on students' prior conceptions, (4) their promotion of significant content understandings, and (5) the extent to which the curricular activities are aligned with standards, content objectives, and authentic assessments. In final stages, students reflect on the appropriateness of the curricula given state responses to the No Child Left Behind legislation. Final products include a poster presentation and final report of the evaluation.</div>6+ hours Will I Know if My Students
A Bad Day for Sandy DaytonA Bad Day for Sandy DaytonDuch, Barbarabduch@physics.udel.eduUniversity of DelawarePhysics and AstronomyIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass2AEA3FE44E75495195C3CC88312AAD4C">Designed to help nonscience majors understand forces, motion, and mechanical energy while reconstructing a rear-end auto accident that occurs outside their classroom building. They explore the relationships between speed and stopping distance, reaction time and stopping distance, and design and safety features of seatbelts and airbags.</div>6+ hours Bad Day For Sandy
A Case for ClassicsA Case for ClassicsKumar, Ritarita.kumar@uc.eduUniversity of CincinnatiEnglishIntermediate (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass32B7A58E9B3A480FAF674D849AB188CF">Students who are not necessarily English majors but take sophomore level literature courses as an elective or a general education requirement often lack the appropriate critical thinking skills required for literary interpretation. Additionally, students often perceive literary study as perfunctory to their 'real' career goals. These attitudes can become a hurdle especially in a literature course that includes texts representing a time and setting which is unfamiliar to contemporary students. This problem emphasizing collaborative work asks students to explore within these not-so-contemporary texts elements that make them examples of demonstrably enduring quality The problem evokes an exploration of texts, which requires students to explore and discuss the texts within a collaborative framework in an effort to uncover how they are a product of setting and society at a certain point in history yet represent elements which make them valuable in contemporary times. This exploration allows students to practice and further enhance their critical thinking and literary interpretation skills in addition to making them think of the practical value of literature. The students are challenged to think beyond the text and make connections with other texts and contemporary life. The problem helps to reinforce course knowledge, evoke analysis, synthesize discussion, lecture, and reading toward a deeper understanding of literature and its application beyond the classroom. The collaborative nature of the problem requires students to share ideas, offer evidence for their interpretations, and defend their views, which are all skills that help develop literary interpretation and analysis.</div>6+ hours Case for
A Day in the Life of John Henry, Traffic CopA Day in the Life of John Henry, Traffic CopDuch, Barbarabduch@physics.udel.eduUniversity of DelawarePhysics and AstronomyIntroductory (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassA6CD1058310140A79FADD4E73F79515A">This problem introduces students to conservation of momentum while working through a two-dimensional automobile accident.</div>6+ hours Day In The Life Of John Henry, Traffic
A Day in the Life of a World-Wide InternA Day in the Life of a World-Wide InternVadino, Nicolenvadino@ccp.eduUniversity of DelawareSociologyIntroductory<div class="ExternalClass9E56AA7CE1E84C3CA4395A89340E4D29">There is a major crisis in the Force, and your students have now been called into active duty to serve as interns in the World-Wide Legislation. As interns, their job will be to work with their group and select a topic not covered in class and compile a set of documents, which will be used to help the Commander understand the various aspects of the selected topic. The Commander is the moderator of the International Fellowship of Moral, Legal, and Ethical Codes and needs to decide whether or not to legalize prostitution (or the topic that the group is assigned to). The Annafters challenge that prostitution (or the topic that the group is assigned to) is leading the Force into the dark side and therefore must be destroyed. The Annafters also feel that anyone who engages in such activities must be expelled from society and sent to the Land of Nothingness. The Prefegators, on the other hand, feel that prostitution (or the topic that the group is assigned to) is a necessary means for society to explore individuality as well as allowing individuals to earn a living. The Prefegators argue that expelling these individuals would disturb the balance of the Force and therefore lead the Force into a doomed state. The groups must perform a series of activities throughout the semester culminating in a presentation, outline, and a formal written report to the Commander on the selected topic.</div>3-6 hours Day in the Life (Sociology).zip
A Letter from DaltonA Letter from DaltonGroh, Susansgroh@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareChemistryIntroductory (non-majors or majors)<div class="ExternalClass015B3A60E3DF4C8084299F7C06AB7946">In this problem students must analyze mass data to test a hypothesis proposed by Dalton as a consequence of his postulates concerning the atomic nature of matter. The analysis is done using only concepts available in 1804, forcing the students to wrestle with the proper way to compare mass data in order to find meaningful relationships among elements. They discover, among other things, the ambiguities associated with writing formulas in the absence of standard atomic masses.</div>1 hour of less Letter from
A Missed DiagnosisA Missed DiagnosisTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass342549F490364F55A4F3E3B74B33ACC2">"Susan presents herself to her family physician for a routine physical. During the physical examination Susan explains that she has been having recurring pain and slight muscle spasms (probably secondary to the pain) in her back and down into her left leg. <br> Susan is examined by her family physician, who makes an incorrect initial diagnosis. Following a lack of response to physical therapy and injections, Susan is referred to an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist. <br> Students are asked to explain why the family physician made an incorrect initial diagnosis, as well as present a theory regarding a correct diagnosis. Students are also asked to answer several anatomically-related questions."</div>1 hour of less Missed
A Pain in the BellyA Pain in the BellyTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass2365A6FBA5614B85A001A99A02C73EA1">This problem aids students in the development of their three-dimensional understanding of abdominal anatomy, with particular emphasis paid to the peritoneum and G.I. vascular supply.</div>1 hour of less Pain in the
Alleviating the AIDS Crisis in South AfricaAlleviating the AIDS Crisis in South AfricaBauer, Gretchengbauer@udel.eduUniversity of DelawarePolitical ScienceIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass73ABCC7238834B9380D85D893A1D0FF2">South Africa, along with several other Southern African countries, has among the highest HIV infection rates in the world. Indeed, the AIDS crisis in Southern Africa today has been compared to the plague in Europe in the Middle Ages. This problem examines some of the implications of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and the possible approaches to alleviating it. The problem also addresses issues concerning bilateral relations between developed and developing countries and the role of multinational corporations and multilateral institutions in world politics.</div>1-3 hours the AIDs Crisis in South Africa (Political Science)
An Electric IdeaAn Electric IdeaLawrie, Ruthmlawrie@kent.eduKent State UniversityChemistry and BiochemistryIntroductory (high school or college)<div class="ExternalClass8E8AB043E185473D94EAB294F55688F5">In this problem, students learn to describe the processes occurring in a classic metal displacement type redox reaction, differentiate between spontaneous and nonspontaneous redox processes, differentiate between voltaic and electrolytic cells, and predict voltages for electrochemical cells.</div>1-3 hours Electric
An Experiment in Using Plants to Get the Lead outAn Experiment in Using Plants to Get the Lead outHoman, Michellehoman001@gannon.eduGannon UniversityEnvironmental Science;Research DesignIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClassB2AC3FFD69014F959D00E3B5728526CD">Phytoremediation is a technology for removing soil and groundwater contamination using plants. In this two-part problem students are given a brief case study to read about how phytoremediation had been successfully used to remove lead from soil at a former manufacturing site. Students are then asked to consider how the researchers may have arrived at these results and what elements went into their experimental design. The second part of the problem requires students to think through and develop alternative research questions and hypotheses related to this topic. Additionally, students are asked to develop a checklist based on the basic elements of experimental design and employ their checklist to flesh out an experimental design to test their research hypothesis. This problem is useful as a supplement to a lecture on the basic terminology and concepts of experimental design.</div>3-6 hours Experiment in Using
An Unwanted SouvenirAn Unwanted SouvenirTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassBA06A75A2CB74905A902EE49629CE23A">"Ralph is a young botany professor of Swedish heritage at a Midwestern liberal arts college. Ralph, who was born in the U.S., became interested in Latin America because of his wife's Latino heritage. He applied for, and participated in an Academic Term Abroad in Latin America during the fall trimester of the 2001-2002 academic year. Upon receiving tenure, Ralph was granted a sabbatical leave. He traveled to, and studied the local flora in Central and South America. Shortly after landing in Latin America, Ralph encountered intermittent attacks of diarrhea with associated abdominal discomfort. On some instances, Ralph moved his stools 5-10 times in a day. Nonetheless, Ralph had a good appetite and continued to work, attributing the discomfort to his G.I. tract's adjustment to the new food and associated spices. His symptoms would periodically disappear and then reappear later, never lasting longer than 1-2 weeks at a time. <br> Upon returning the States to analyze his data and submit it for publication, his symptoms worsened. His appetite decreased significantly, he lost a great deal of weight and became unable to continue his normal professorial duties. He made an appointment to see his family physician.<br> The results of Ralph's physical examinations are outlined, and students are asked to develop a hypothesis as to a diagnosis of Ralph's condition as well as answer anatomically-related and microbiology-related questions."</div>1 hour of less Unwanted
Are You Sure I've Seen You Before?Are You Sure I've Seen You Before?Tallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesAdvanced (majors)<div class="ExternalClass033E19107254469A82C98AA6002712F6">"Rachel is a 37-year-old female who works as an administrative assistant for a Fortune-500 company in downtown Chicago. It is Monday, and she is walking along the lakefront to work from her north-shore condominium. As she is walking south she notices the beginnings of an oncoming migraine headache. She notices a flashing aura in her peripheral vision. In addition, she is becoming increasingly sensitive to light. By the time she reaches her office she is unable to tolerate even normal sound, and is advised by her boss to 'head for home' and take the day off. Rachel's assistant (Charles) accompanies her during the cab ride home, and helps her pull the blinds in her bedroom and settle her into bed for the day. Rachel is advised by Charles to call the office if she needs anything. <br> Two hours later Charles receives a garbled telephone call from Rachel. She is agitated and very frightened. Charles advises her to remain calm, and tells her that he will be right over. Immediately after hanging up from Rachel's call Charles dials 911 and requests an ambulance at Rachel's address. He immediately hails a cab and meets the ambulance at Rachel's condo. She is immediately placed on oxygen and rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. <br> Students are asked to correctly diagnose the patient and answer several related questions about the patient."</div>3-6 hours You Sure Ive Seen You
Athletics ProblemAthletics ProblemChamberlin, Scottscott@uwyo.eduUniversity of WyomingStatisticsIntroductory (middle grade, gifted students)<div class="ExternalClass811FCF4124CA460686315F4540B81965">The Athletics Problem is one that asks students to engage in computing a correlation while simultaneously looking at spread of data (standard deviation). Specifically, students are asked to look at demographic data, height, and weight to determine if any relationship exists between the event athletes do and their demographic data.</div>1-3 hours
Blankley Corporation: Pension AccountingBlankley Corporation: Pension AccountingCottell, Philipcottelpg@muohio.eduMiami UniversityAccountingIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass16DFCCF3EA6E43BBA1A781ED8F6B30FA">Having worked through the nine phases of the Blankley Corporation unfolding problem, students will be able to understand and perform the technical aspects of accounting for defined benefit plans. As the problem unfolds, the intricacy of the technical aspects of pension accounting increases. As they work through the phases, students first learn the components of annual pension expense, the projected benefit obligation, the fair value of plan assets, and the prepaid/accrued pension cost. They next engage the effects of changing expected returns on plan assets and changing the settlement rate. They learn how to amortize prior service costs, how to calculate the minimum liability, and when to amortize unexpected gains and losses in the later phases. The solution contains a pension accounting worksheet that increases in complexity as the problem moves through its phases. Because the problem unfolds in stages, accounting instructors may eliminate aspects that they do not wish to cover.</div>3-6 hours Corp (Accounting).zip
Carbohydrate MythologyCarbohydrate MythologyBenoit, Lindsaybenoitl@unbc.caUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaNutrition and DieteticsIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClassEFD8BBF5C3B34B97A77EF28AD20A1953">Dylan has always struggled with his weight and has been told by his doctor that he needs to lose weight. A month ago Dylan started a fad diet that includes significantly reducing carbohydrate intake. He has lost over twenty pounds and is raving about the diet. Students will examine the role of carbohydrates in the diet, micronutrients associated with carbohydrate food sources, and issues surrounding weight loss.</div>3-6 hours
Cebu and Woodard Leases - A PBL Unfolding ProblemCebu and Woodard Leases - A PBL Unfolding ProblemCottell, Philipcottelpg@muohio.eduMiami UniversityAccountingIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass3800E64FC6744C73A97B8EBA710595CD">Having worked through the eight phases of the Cebu and Woodward unfolding PBL problem, students will be able to understand and perform the technical aspects of accounting for leases. The problem includes accounting for operating leases and capital leases from the point of view of the lessee and accounting for operating leases, direct financing leases, and sales type leases from the point of view of the lessor. Because the problem unfolds in stages, accounting instructors may eliminate aspects of lease accounting that they do not wish to cover.</div>3-6 hours and Woodard Leases (Accounting).zip
Challenges to Sustainability in the Developing World: Private Choices and Social Implications of Cotton Production in IndiaChallenges to Sustainability in the Developing World: Private Choices and Social Implications of Cotton Production in IndiaDuke, Joshuaduke@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEnvironmental ScienceIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass3F760CCFA05A4E48BAA9CBBEED954A49">This problem examines the challenges of achieving sustainable development in a world of unintended consequences with a hypothetical example of cotton production in India. First, the basic agricultural production challenge of developing world agriculture is quantified. Second, development challenges are clarified with a study of capital constraints, which prevent adoption of high profitability agriculture. Then, two policy responses to this development challenge are offered—microlending and subsidies—both of which are shown to overcome capital constraints. Finally, the classic 'Tragedy of the Commons' problem in introduced as an unintended consequence of the development policy intervention, which shows how difficult it is to achieve sustainable development. A policy response to this sustainability problem is suggested.</div>1-3 hours to
Cholera and the Science of MedicineCholera and the Science of MedicineDonham, Richarddonham@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareScience EducationIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassCBCB7998F8C64AEB8E8935F8CDE6A051">Students explore the essential nature of science processes of evidence, explanation, prediction, experimentation, and communication and how they are used by scientists. The London cholera epidemic of 1854 is explored as an early application of the processes of science to the understanding of a disease.</div>3-6 hours and the Science (Science Education).zip
Choosing Books to Support Elementary Girls' Science LearningChoosing Books to Support Elementary Girls' Science LearningFord, Danielledjford@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEducationIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass7A5D68D19D1D4CC7957863F947CE66DA">In this problem designed for teacher education majors, students prepare a grant proposal to obtain trade books for elementary science curricula that will support girls' science learning. Students will first determine what makes a good science trade book for children, examine books within a particular content area for their quality and appeal to girls, determine a list of text materials appropriate for instruction, and prepare a grant application to request those materials. The problem can be used as a supplement to the PBL problem "How will I know if my students learned what they're supposed to?" (Ford, 2005).</div>3-6 hours Books to Support Elementary Girls Science
Choosing a Teaching Text: James Joyce's UlyssesChoosing a Teaching Text: James Joyce's UlyssesMcKenna, Bernardmckennab@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEnglishAdvanced (majors)<div class="ExternalClass7FF33F489BF24BCF931A2BF44E5E01F5">A major challenge for an instructor involves choosing the best available critical edition of a text for a class. Instructors must consider issues of authorial review, authorial intent, the corruption of editions published in the author's lifetime, the introduction of editorial errors into the text, the review of manuscript material, and availability and readability of available editions. James Joyce's Ulysses serves as the ideal text to teach potential instructors the fundamentals of choosing the best critical edition because there is no critical consensus regarding the best available text: students must then consider and weigh the evidence for themselves. This problem unit asks students to select the best text for a potential class and to offer evidence not only in favor of their choice but also a survey of the four most widely used editions of Ulysses. In this, it asks students to develop a criteria for choosing a scholarly text, to use that criteria to evaluate each of the four available editions, to consider reviews and assessments of available editions, to evaluate the editor's stated methods for producing the text, and to choose a text for a class. Students must also present evidence of the strengths and weaknesses of their choice and the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the other three texts under consideration. Students must justify their choice in light of this evidence and also offer specific suggestions for compensating for the weaknesses of their chosen text. Therefore, in addition to developing criteria for choosing a text of Ulysses, this problem unit also asks students to develop a means to develop and apply standards that can be used in the choice of the best available editions for other courses.</div>6+ hours a Teaching Text James
Cognitive Neuroscience Case CreationCognitive Neuroscience Case CreationMiller, Antoinetteantoinettemiller@clayton.eduClayton State UniversityPsychologyAdvanced (majors)<div class="ExternalClass3FCC90DA42EA443582C11A20E152ED19">This "build a case" problem provides students with the opportunity to create their own case study from the ground up. Student working groups are assigned a particular condition that may result in brain damage (such as a stroke) and then build a teaching case in which a number of brain areas may be damaged and functions affected. Students must provide background information on the "patient", the brain areas affected (both before and after damage), useful means to assess brain function (such as neuroimaging or neuropsychological assessment), as well as a prognosis for the "patient."</div>6+ hours Neuroscience Case Creation (Psychology)
Collaborating to Determine and Meet Student NeedsCollaborating to Determine and Meet Student NeedsHoyle, Carolchoyle@columbiasc.eduColumbia CollegeEducationIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass3CEED057F86B4E32BB59D84384BEC468">Teacher candidates work in small groups for these assignments. Each group is assigned an initial student scenario. Slightly different information is then added to each student scenario for remaining parts of the PBL. This provides teacher candidates the opportunity to collaborate as they analyze and evaluate data and information. Groups make eligibility decisions and create individualized education programs based on student learning needs.</div>6+ hours to Determine and Meet Student
Crossed CircuitsCrossed CircuitsWatson, Georgeghw@physics.udel.eduUniversity of DelawarePhysics and AstronomyIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass518FE489C6D84C47A2A5D4823F6F9263">Two roommates argue about each others use of energy. Which roommate should pay a utility premium? How much extra?</div>1 hour of less
DNA for DinnerDNA for DinnerLieux, Elizabethlieux@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareMultidisciplinary;Faculty Development;Biological Sciences;Biotechnology;NutritionIntroductory (variety of audiences)<div class="ExternalClass319D1BF8CD2A403BAC826B4F1B372E1A">The use of bioengineered food in quick service restaurants is controversial. Some stakeholders believe genetic engineering will increase the quality and quantity of available foods. Others feel that these foods are dangerous to both consumers and the environment. New Leaf TM Potatoes offer the possibility of great reductions in the use of pesticides in the growing process.</div>3-6 hours for
Daddy, Help! I Can't Get out of the Pool!Daddy, Help! I Can't Get out of the Pool!Tallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassA015F465C87A4A5FA9572106F1490152">Tammy, a 10 year-old girl, is normally active for her age, participating in her local soccer club (playing goalie) and swimming breaststroke on her country club's swim team. Lately she has been experiencing pain in her left knee. The problem involves continuing problems resulting from pain in her knee, and 2 visits to a physician. The first visit to the physician is the result of the chronic pain, while the second is due to an culminating incident at the swimming pool. Students are walked through a two-part PBL exercise that investigates problems that may occur during bone development in an overweight, but normally active pre-pubescent girl.</div>1 hour of less Help I Cant Get out of the
Dawn Treader Industries: Long-Term Construction ContractsDawn Treader Industries: Long-Term Construction ContractsCottell, Philipcottelpg@muohio.eduMiami UniversityAccountingIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass7C57ABBB53BC494BAA2325F5A0F692CF">Having worked through the seven stages of the Dawn Treader Industries unfolding problem, students will be able to understand and perform the technical aspects of accounting for long-term construction contracts. The problem departs from traditional textbook approaches to accounting in favor of the techniques currently used in the industry based on research by the author. Students will be required to make choices when they encounter a cancelled contract in Phase 6 of the problem. Because the problem unfolds in stages, accounting instructors may eliminate aspects that they do not wish to cover.</div>1-3 hours Treader (Accounting).zip
Dawn's Eight O'clockDawn's Eight O'clockWhite, Haroldhalwhite@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareProblem-based LearningIntroductory (workship participants)<div class="ExternalClass81B8E4B11689442088F85985B2FB9440">Absenteeism and tardiness can disrupt group function in PBL groups. This short text case with accompanying video vignette illustrates the importance of regular, on-time attendance in PBL courses and provides a trigger for discussion on group ground rules at the beginning of a course.</div>1 hour of less Eight
Deflating GradyDeflating GradyWhite, Haroldhalwhite@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareFaculty DevelopmentIntroductory (workshop participants)<div class="ExternalClass1A4A0D95A45C43C99FC3E53265947CB7">Grade inflation poses a problem on many campuses and is an issue familiar to faculty regardless of their discipline. This six-stage problem for a faculty development workshop, introduces faculty to PBL and employs a variety of pedagogical strategies. Grady Rizeng, a chaired professor, upset by being confronted by his chair, Lois Marks, about the high grades he gave, forwards the accusations and complains to Dean Nolira in a late-night e-mail message. That e-mail exchange serves as trigger in Stage 1 to explore the meaning, causes, and implications surrounding grade inflation with the eventual goal in Stage 6 of proposing reasonable ways to deal with the situation. The problem employs written, oral, and visual communication; involves Internet research elements; and addresses mathematical literacy.</div>3-6 hours
Doc, is it my heart?Doc, is it my heart?Tallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass9988C60942694328AFD533D045FC4335">A 52-year-old black man presents to the emergency room with chest pains. The patient is agitated and apprehensive. He has a family history of heart disease and hypertension. The patient is examined by the physician, and the student is asked to make a diagnosis of the patient's condition, utilizing diagnostic clues given in the problem.</div>1-3 hours
Does Anyone Know What's Wrong with Me?Does Anyone Know What's Wrong with Me?Tallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass453AC2D66D1B4F8AA256B88B63743C7D">"Molly is a nineteen-year-old, multiple-time All-American pole-vaulter on her college's track team. During the summer, Molly trains for her event by pole vaulting twice a week and running three miles every other night. When the school year begins, she starts intense training with her coaches and teammates in order to prepare for the long winter and spring seasons ahead. In addition to pole vaulting, Molly trains for the long jump, triple jump, and hurdles. All of these events use the left limb as a ""take-off leg."" <br> Early in the winter season, Molly experienced a sharp pain on the medial side of her left knee while she was running. After experiencing this pain for a few days, she decided to go see her physician. <br> The students are walked through a two-part problem that investigates the anatomy of the knee joint and the results of an injury to one or more structures within that joint."</div>1 hour of less Anyone Know Whats Wrong with
Emotion and Memory: Bright Lights through Thick FogEmotion and Memory: Bright Lights through Thick FogBenander, Ruthruth.benander@uc.eduUniversity of CincinnatiPsychologyIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass009DBF18A7BB492EBF1A64256003CCFF">Students in introductory psychology courses must gain experience with the professional literature and the methods of psychological research. However, in an introductory course, they do not have the knowledge or expertise to use these resources. Early exposure to reading studies and collecting data can help students be more successful in later courses where these skills are required. It is not too early to introduce students to research and this problem is intended to give students the opportunity to work with research analysis and presentation in a structured environment. The problem specifically asks students to participate in data gathering and analysis, with reference to scholarly articles in the context of memories of September 11, 2001. This assignment could be adapted for other current events that have had an emotional impact on the students. This problem is built on the concept from Levine and Babb ( in their problem titled "Remembering the Verdict: A Problem-Based Learning Approach to Studying the Effects of Emotions on Memory."</div>3-6 hours and Memory_ Bright Lights through Thick Fog (Psychology)
Examining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem One--Joining the Global UnionExamining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem One--Joining the Global UnionSkutar, Claudiaclaudia.skutar@uc.eduUniversity of CincinnatiComposition and RhetoricIntermediate (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass1643BEDD24D2415686A5B29A350CD670">This first problem of three sets up simulations of real-world scenarios and then asks students to think and write about them. In a world of rapidly changing communication methods, college-level writers must not only understand the conventions of traditional academic writing but must learn to think critically and to write about and in various genres. One way to help students learn to do this is via communication problems based on parallels to real-world events. In this first problem, students must develop a written founding document for an emerging democracy; that document, geared to a global audience, must establish and defend the rights of its citizens. To complete their task, students research similar documents as sources for their own and reference these sources in written arguments. Students also must defend their documents orally. The second problem in this set, by Rita Kumar, requires students to defend an important right. The third problem, by Brenda Refaei, encourages students to think about how to use the content of their majors to solve global problems.</div>6+ hours _ Practicing Genre
Examining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem Three--Global Economic ConferenceExamining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem Three--Global Economic ConferenceRefaei, Brendarefaeibg@uc.eduUniversity of CincinnatiComposition and RhetoricIntermediate (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassF2CCAED3DCD04A6A99937628CF8FC6D8">This is the third problem in a set of three. The first, by Claudia Skutar, involves students in developing a founding document. The second problem, by Rita Kumar, requires students to defend an important right. This final problem encourages students to think about how they can use the content of their major to solve global problems. In a world of rapidly changing communication methods, college-level writers must not only understand the conventions of traditional academic writing, but must learn to think critically and to write about and in various rhetorics and genres. One way to help students learn to do this is via communication problems based on parallels to real-world events. The final problem in the set requires students to use everything they have learned throughout the course to analyze the types of genres they will need to produce, locate the appropriate sources of information, and integrate that information in both an oral report and an individual paper. This problem also pushes students to use information related to their major to solve social problems. It gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their courses to real-world situations. For example, one group of business majors, veterinary technicians, nursing majors, and liberal arts examined the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The group worked together to give a coherent presentation on their different perspectives of this important social issue.</div>6+ hours _ Practicing Genre
Examining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem Two--National Citizens ForumExamining & Practicing Genre & Rhetoric: Problem Two--National Citizens ForumKumar, Ritarita.kumar@uc.eduUniversity of CincinnatiComposition and RhetoricIntermediate (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass064BE3FC7B9D410284FDBD3489244129">This is the second problem in a set of three that sets up simulations of real-world scenarios and then asks students to think and write about them. In a world of rapidly changing communication methods, college-level writers must not only understand the conventions of traditional academic writing, but must learn to think critically and to write about and in various genres. One way to help students learn to do this is via communication problems based on parallels to real-world events. The first problem by Claudia Skutar involves students in developing a founding document. This second problem requires students to defend an important right(s) that they have identified earlier in the founding document and argue for it using reliable sources. The second problem is connected to the first problem in content but expects students to develop their writing skills further. The problem encourages students to find sources, evaluate and analyze them as they construct their arguments in defense of a right. The problem design prompts students to explore different genres and voices to meet the rhetorical demands of the scenario presented by the problem. Students are pushed to work collaboratively and think critically as they need to produce both an individual and collective product. For example, students seek ways to incorporate information from their individual products to create a collective document that exemplifies a different genre and voice. The final problem by Brenda Refaei requires students to use their newfound skills to address a social issue. Students adopt roles related to their majors to write about social issues as someone in their desired field would.</div>6+ hours _ Practicing Genre
Externalities and Managing a Common Property ResourceExternalities and Managing a Common Property ResourceDuke, Joshuaduke@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareFood and Resource EconomicsIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassCDAA7FB651EC406C8EA7378476A3E8BB">One difficulty in controlling pollution is that individuals and firms acting in their own best interest may produce aggregate behavior that is suboptimal for society. This problem uses externalities produced by four firms in a common property setting to demonstrate the suboptimal result with simple numbers. Then, market and non-market resolutions are investigated. The problem is self-contained and designed for groups of four students.</div>1 hour of less and Managing a Common Propoerty
Failed SconesFailed SconesGross, Sandrasgross@wcupa.eduWest Chester UniversityNutrition and DieteticsIntroductory (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass4C594B54BE4742E6B104494A2CB69D54">A request for help comes from a mother trying to solve her daughter's baking dilemma—flopped scones. In providing this help, students must explore bakeshop principles, recognize ingredients and their uses, understand the function(s) of chemical leavening agents, familiarize themselves with mixing methods and the baking process, and distinguish between quick bread mixing techniques.</div>1-3 hours
Female Circumcision: The Flight of KasingaFemale Circumcision: The Flight of KasingaWebber, Karenkwebber@uga.eduUniversity of GeorgiaWomen's Studies;PsychologyIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass35F01453819C4B81BD8537A613FE6293">Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, affects thousands of young girls and women in more than 30 countries worldwide (but primarily in Africa and portions of the Middle East). Despite efforts to ban this procedure, it continues today due in part to deeply-embedded cultural traditions and perceptions of women. This problem explores the types of female circumcision, reasons why it is done, and if/how it should be stopped. Implications for US legal and medical professionals are also discussed.</div>1-3 hours Circumcision The Flight of
Fifty Miles for My Fiftieth BirthdayFifty Miles for My Fiftieth BirthdayTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClassCB82877C3A8145DC982A99423555EF96">Lincoln is a 50-year old runner who, over the past five years, has completed five one-half marathons and four marathons. He regularly runs six to seven days a week, totaling thirty to fifty miles per week. For his fiftieth birthday Lincoln decided to participate in the Silver Rush fifty mile run. This fifty mile out-and-back run started at an elevation of 10,000 feet in Leadville, Colorado, and ascended 7,400 feet over four peaks, with the highest pass at 12,200 feet. During the run and after the run, Lincoln encounters significant musculoskeletal problems, resulting in hospitalization and treatment. This PBL problem introduces students to exercise- induced skeletal muscle pathophysiology and the resulting disturbances in homeostasis.</div>1-3 hours Miles for My Fiftieth
Fire ChickenFire ChickenTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassF86089C1A79242CFA29F3DC565AACF49">"Choi In Sung, 32-year-old male of Asian descent, presents to his family physician to seek treatment for chest pains. The patient appears frustrated and apprehensive. When questioned by the physician the patient provides the following information: <br> The patient has been experiencing what he initially thought was indigestion following a dinner at his fiancée's house. When questioned further by the physician Mr. Choi explains that his fiance, who is of European descent, is trying to learn how to stir fry. Her dish (Fire Chicken) was highly spicy, and Mr. Choi had encountered indigestion following the meal. However, when the indigestion continued for 48 hours Mr. Choi felt he should see a physician. <br> Upon further questioning it is determined that the pain is localized to the center of the chest at approximately mid-sternal level. <br> Students then follow Mr. Choi through a subsequent clinical visit and are asked to theorize as to the patient's diagnosis and answer several anatomically related questions. <br> This problem is an adaptation of Case IV.9: The Case of Bruce Hicks published in Gross Anatomy in the Practice of Medicine by F.J. Slaby, S.K. McCune and R.W. Summers. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1994"</div>1-3 hours
Friend, Can You Spare a Kidney for Our Son Levon?Friend, Can You Spare a Kidney for Our Son Levon?Bieker, Richardrbieker@desu.eduDelaware State UniversityEconomicsIntroductory (majors)<div class="ExternalClass002CE2CB05F144169B3B1A947DC766A9">The issue of the shortage of transplantable kidneys is of growing significance and concern worldwide. In this multipart problem-based learning project, students are asked to approach the issue from an economic perspective. The content was developed for and class tested in several sections of the Principles of Microeconomics classes at the American University of Armenia. However, it could easily be adapted for use in any country.</div>6+ hours, Can You Spare a Kidney for Our Son
Gearding Construction Company: Accounting for Derivatives - Interest Rate SwapsGearding Construction Company: Accounting for Derivatives - Interest Rate SwapsCottell, Philipcottelpg@muohio.eduMiami UniversityAccountingIntermediate (majors)<div class="ExternalClass24885354D96D4C48868672503612DEF0">Students who have completed the six stages of the Gearding Construction Company PBL unfolding problem will have learned how to account for interest rate swaps under both hedge accounting and no-hedge accounting conditions.</div>1-3 hours Construction (Accounting).zip
Granny's HipGranny's HipTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass88886DED5947438BA9BFBAE3AF9C7CFE">"You stop over to visit your grandmother for your weekly visit to set out her medications for the coming week. As you enter her apartment, you find her lying on her back in severe pain. She is confused and does not recognize you when you enter the room. In addition, she is unable to tell you how she came to be lying on the floor. <br> You try to help her up off of the floor, but she immediately complains of significant pain in the groin area. You dial 911 and an ambulance arrives. <br> The students are walked through a 2-part problem that investigates the anatomy of the hip joint complex, the vasculature of the femur, and possible surgical interventions for repair of a fractured or dislocated hip."</div>1 hour of less
Green's Invasive Plant DilemmaGreen's Invasive Plant DilemmaBarton, Susansbarton@udel.eduUniversity of DelawarePlant and Soil SciencesIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass1EAC8FAB5F14458CB55A124630340256">This problem is about a state representative who becomes aware of invasive plants in his own garden. He discovers the names of the plants and how they might have spread into his garden. He decides to write a law outlawing invasive plants in Delaware but realizes the flaws of such a law when no one will serve as a co-sponsor. Students are challenged to create a more effective law and suggest other solutions to the problem. Student learning objectives include gaining an awareness of the problem of invasive plants, becoming familiar with available resources by trying to identify a few common species and researching possible control strategies, developing a sense of the difficulty in mandating control and an exploration of solutions other than legislation.</div>3-6 hours Invasive Plant
Guide MapGuide MapPrice, Alan Paulpprice@uwc.eduUniversity of WisconsinGeographyIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass42781D15383345DAA4585B27428958DC">How do you make a map useful to a blind person? In this problem, students first decide what needs to be included on a map. Second, they decide what equipment they need to do the mapping. Third, they map an area. Last, they produce the map and evaluate their results. The problem helps inculcate previously learned concepts relating to latitude and longitude, planimetric maps, and topographic maps.</div>1-3 hours
Harry Potter and the WalkaboutHarry Potter and the WalkaboutRoss, Dorrydross@udel.eduUniversity of DelawareEnglishIntroductory (non-majors)<div class="ExternalClassCE2F07D3B0ED49B78709704DCCD799A3">"Most first year students are unfamiliar with all the opportunities and facilities that are available to them on a college campus. This staged-assignment problem is designed make students familiar with some of the academic, cultural, and extracurricular activities and events on their campus. In addition, the students taste two kinds of group work, do a simple character analysis, evaluate campus sites based on their character analysis, do several writing-to-learn activities, write two informal papers, give an oral presentation, and write a paper that sets up a walking tour of the campus based on the needs of one of three characters that could come from a number of novels or movies. Finally, students often fail to grasp the idea of writing for a specific audience with a specific purpose in mind. Instead, they write for their professor, thereby missing the opportunity to learn how to reach a specific audience. With this assignment, students must write for a particular audience and purpose that cannot be confused with the teacher as audience. I chose to use the three main characters from Harry Potter series: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. <br> N.B. The assignment would work well in a composition class, as part of a first-year experience program, or in other situations that orient new students to campus life."</div>6+ hours Potter and the
Harvest Time DangerHarvest Time DangerTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesAdvanced (majors)<div class="ExternalClassA45EB0447BAE4299BF96D146AE00F085">Tom, a 36-year-old, right hand dominant male farmer, is involved in a farming accident that involves his right upper appendage. The students are walked through a two-part problem that investigates the anatomy and kinesiology of the upper appendage, as well as the anatomy of the brachial plexus and the sensory innervation of the upper appendage.</div>6+ hours Time
Homecoming SurpriseHomecoming SurpriseTallitsch, RobertRobertTallitsch@augustana.eduAugustana collegeBiological SciencesIntermediate (majors and non-majors)<div class="ExternalClass04E5427C050C40C4A7E484105B4717BE">This problem enables students to examine the results of soft-tissue injuries stemming from hyperflexion of the vertebral column as a result of an improper football tackle.</div>1-3 hours
Hosting an Exchange StudentHosting an Exchange StudentFees, Josephjfees@desu.eduDelaware State UniversityForeign LanguagesAny<div class="ExternalClass7788AF2BD079424CAE038576EDCBD21C">Culture and cultural understanding are crucial components of learning foreign languages. Due to classroom time constraints, it is often difficult to cover culture comprehensively while also teaching grammar and vocabulary during the semester. Students will imagine that an exchange student from a Spanish-speaking country is coming to stay with the student’s family for a few weeks as part of a cultural exchange program. What would some of the challenges and rewards be? What should they research to be prepared? Students will think critically about cultural norms and stereotypes, research a country or region of their choosing related to the target culture, create a cheat-sheet with relevant information and present it to the class. The class presentations will provide students with a panorama of the various areas of the Spanish-speaking world including common and unique foods and celebrations, taboo behaviors and popular past times. Students research and discover numerous cultural aspects about the target region as well as contemplate cultural norms and behaviors through this problem. They will learn extensively about Hispanic cultures within a few class days and also have an opportunity to chat with a student from the target region.</div>3-6 hours An Exchange

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