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Queen's University
 

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Assessment for PBL Courses

Assessment methods used in problem-based learning courses relates to the nature of the tasks, processes, and content in PBL courses. With PBL, assessment also evaluates the level of integration of interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and behaviors. Selecting appropriate assessment that generally differs from traditional methods is important to create alignment between what students are asked to do and their learning that is driven by assessment.

The types of assessment that evaluate PBL tasks, process, content and integration of interdisciplinary knowledge include:

  • newspaper article
  • peer assessment
  • position paper
  • presentations/demonstrations
  • reflective essays
  • reflective problem log
  • role play
  • self assessment
  • videotape presentation.

As PBL involves a great deal of team/group work, a large amount of the assessment should revolve around groups. For example, group presentations can provide a substantial contribution towards students' final mark and still balanced by a final formative peer review each student receives. Reflective journals and essays, as well as self assessment, are powerful tools that encourage students to think about their learning through the process.

Assessments aligned with PBL, including any essays and exams, should maintain the focus on context, and involve engagement with messy problems from multiple perspectives when assessing students' learning of course content.

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