Applying Problem Based Learning

What's Problem-Based Learning (PBL)?

PBL isn’t just about memorizing facts – it’s about rolling up your sleeves, flexing those problem-solving muscles, and becoming a critical thinker in the process.



The Theory Behind PBL
PBL rocks the Constructivist Learning Theory, where you’re not just soaking up info but building your own understanding. Think Vygotsky, Piaget, and Bruner paving the way. These educational gurus believe that learning isn’t a one-way street – it’s a dynamic process where learners actively construct their own knowledge through hands-on experiences. In PBL, you’re not just a passive recipient of information – you’re an active participant in your own learning journey.

Why PBL Rocks
PBL isn’t just about memorizing facts. It’s about diving deep, thinking critically, and getting your hands dirty with real-world challenges. By immersing yourself in authentic, relevant problems, you’re not just learning – you’re developing key skills that will serve you well in the real world. From critical thinking to creativity to collaboration, PBL helps you hone the skills you need to succeed in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Skills for the Future
Peep into the future with the World Economic Forum’s skills list. PBL? It’s got ’em covered – think analytical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving galore. In today’s rapidly evolving job market, employers aren’t just looking for book smarts – they’re looking for thinkers, problem-solvers, and innovators. PBL gives you the chance to develop these in-demand skills in a hands-on, practical way, setting you up for success in whatever path you choose to pursue.

How to PBL Like a Pro

As an Instructional Designer, your job’s to make PBL pop. Get hands-on, let learners take charge, and sprinkle in some personalized learning vibes. PBL isn’t just about following a script – it’s about creating an environment where learners can thrive, explore, and grow. Whether you’re designing a course, workshop, or training program, keep PBL principles in mind and watch your learners soar.

The PBL Framework

Check out Barrows’ PBL framework – it’s all about going beyond rote memorization and diving into real-world applications. Barrows realized that traditional learning methods weren’t cutting it for today’s learners. Instead of regurgitating facts, he wanted students to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways. That’s where PBL comes in. By focusing on problem-solving, application, and extension, Barrows’ framework revolutionized the way we approach education.



DLD’s PBL Magic

We’re all about bringing PBL to life, whether it’s fixing rail signals or tackling corporate challenges. It’s hands-on learning, baby! At DLD, we believe that learning should be engaging, relevant, and fun. That’s why we’re big fans of PBL. From technical skills to soft skills, PBL helps learners develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to succeed in today’s world.

In a Nutshell

PBL isn’t just about ticking boxes. It’s about diving deep, thinking big, and prepping you for real-world success. Let’s dive in and see what PBL can do for you!



[1] David L, “Constructivism,” in Learning Theories, June 20, 2015,


[2] De Simone, Christina. (2008). Problem-Based Learning: A Framework for Prospective Teachers’ Pedagogical Problem Solving. Teacher Development. 12. 10.1080/13664530802259206.


[3] World Economic Forum (2018). The Future of Jobs Report 2018. retrieved from


[4] Barrows, H. S., & Tamblyn, R. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education. New York: Springer


[5] Loyens, S. M. M., Kirschner, P. A., & Paas, F. (2012). Problem-based learning. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Eds.), APA Educational Psychology Handbook: Vol 3. Applications to learning and teaching (pp. 403-425). Washington: DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/13725-016


[6] [7] Barrows, H. S. (1985). How to design a problem-based curriculum for preclinical years. New York: Springer.

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