A major concern in education today is making the student learning experience relevant to facilitate workforce readiness. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional format which actively engages students in the learning process by requiring them to solve real-life problems (Arambula-Greenfield 1996, Norman and Schmidt 1992). Often times, however, the real-life experiences used are hypothetical and, as a result, simplify the problem to the point that the realness of the problem no longer exists (Nolan and Nolan 1997). Natural resource educators can make PBL activities real by having students work with local park and natural resource agencies to solve natural resource problems. Through a cooperative agreement with Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Maryland, students master general ecology course content by involvement in projects to develop a natural resources inventory and to prepare a deer environmental impact statement for the Battlefield. These activities are similar to the tasks the students will perform when employed as natural resource managers, thus making the student learning experience really real and they foster the learning of fundamental ecological concepts.
"PBL - making natural resource education really real,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 7, Article 47.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol7/iss1/47