Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively.
  • small groups of 4/5 students
  • focuses on tasks to be accomplished
  • requires group cooperation and interaction
  • mandates individual responsibility to learn
  • supports division of labour
  • improvement of comprehension of basic academic content
  • reinforcement of academic skills
  • students’ decision making allowed
  • creation of active learning environment
  • boosted students’ self esteem
  • celebration of diverse learning styles
  • promotion of students’ responsibility
  • focus on success of everyone
  • positive interdependence (students feel responsible for their own and group effort)
  • face to face interaction (students encourage and support each other; the environment encourages discussion and eye contact)
  • interpersonal and group accountability (each student is responsible for doing their part; the group is accountable for meeting its goal)
  • social skills (they must be taught for successful cooperative learning to occur)
  • group processing (group members analyze their own and the group task and decide how it can be improved.
The Teacher…
  1. gives a meaningful task that requires active participation of each student to reach a common goal.
  2. monitors the learning process
  3. provides ongoing feedback
  4. provides assessment of the group progress.
spokesperson represents the group and presents group work the rest of the class
timekeeper keeps group on task and on time
team facilitator (LEADER) moderates discussion, ensures that work is completed by all, and makes sure that all have the opportunity to participate and learn
elaborator relates the discussion with prior concepts and knowledge
research runner gets needed materials and is the liaison between teams and between their team and the instructor

This is the way students and teachers work together!



Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method of hands-on, active learning centered on the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems.


  • Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems with no one “right” answer
  • Students work as self-directed, active investigators and problem-solvers (in groups or individually)
  • Teachers guide the learning process and promote an environment of inquiry.


  • developing critical thinking and creative skills
  • improving problem-solving skills
  • increasing motivation
  • helping students learn to transfer knowledge to new situations.

The Process