Problem-based Learning: A Study on its Impact on Learners' Motivation, Strategy Use, Learning Processes and Academic Achievement

Project Number
OER 23/15 CBL

Project Duration
January 2016 - December 2018


Learning in the 21st-century classroom is about equipping students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that allow for independent learning and problem solving in all aspects of their lives. It is about developing intelligence for independent learning, creative thinking and real-life problem solving. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an innovative pedagogical approach whereby real-life problems are the focal points for learning and students exercise autonomy for their learning. Collaborative problem-solving, self-directed learning and pedagogical scaffolding are pivotal learning processes within PBL that support students’ learning. The experience of engaging in the solving of authentic problems motivate students to learn and at the same time harnesses and develops their ability to deal with novelty and complexity. Through solving “real-life” problems, students are able to activate their prior knowledge, integrate their learning and develop cognitive and problem-solving skills. In view of the lack of research evidence supporting PBL implementation in Singapore school students, this study aims to provide insights on the use of PBL on students’ motivation,strategy use, learning processes and academic achievement. This research is very much in alignment with the theme of the 14th grant call on applied learning and OER's research programme on learner's social and cognitive development.

Funding Source

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