I write to your Board of Directors/Trustees for our university seeking to introduce an academic idea that I am certain will change our approach to teaching and disseminating learning content to our students.
I seek to convince you that it would be prudent for our esteemed institution, through your policy-making decision, to roll out a problem-based learning approach in our campus curriculum. There are a number of reasons that I believe will justify the implementation of a problem-based learning approach, also known as student-centered learning (Moust, 2016).
A problem-based learning approach entails centering the teaching around the students. This makes it more enjoyable for the students to participate in the learning process as they do not feel omitted. It promotes interaction between the learners and the lecturer, as well as between the learners themselves within a classroom or laboratory set-up (Schwartz, 2013). It also helps the students to remain original in their classwork as they learn the same academic principles through different perspectives every time. It means that they do not have to replicate what was learned the previous academic period leaving them with no option but to remain authentic in the academic ideas.
The student-centered approach to teaching is also advantageous in that it removes the element of compartmentalization in the learning process. The approach enables the learners to be able to integrate the different concepts learned in various units to comprehend the overall objectives and learning goals of each course that they are pursuing in campus. It helps them bring together the collective knowledge acquired from the separate subjects that they learn each semester.
Problem-based learning is also ideal due to the fact that a series of units or subjects may be broken down into manageable topics that the students will be taught in the different weeks of the semester. This will help their academic performance because they become easy to understand instead of disseminating this knowledge through a series of long lectures. The student-centered mode of learning is also helpful in that every topic will have a set of problems prepared for the students to internalize the various concepts taught to them. This is more effective when done in a practical way where the students get to see these concepts, especially scientific ones, in real life application (Rimal, Paudel, & Shrestha, 2015). It makes it easier for them to fully comprehend the key aspects of the learning content taught to them.
The other key benefit of the problem-based approach to earning is that the teachers or lecturers will get to know the students with challenges in understanding the topics taught in class. This makes it easy to tailor some problems for them that will help them to improve and catch up with the rest of their student colleagues. It also creates a fruitful rapport between the lecturer and the learners, thus stimulating interest and motivation to comprehend the concepts being taught.
Given these reasons, I implore the university administration to give my idea keen consideration as the introduction of problem-based learning is set to unlock the academic potential of our students. It is my humble plea that the University Board of Directors/Trustees will dwell on the positive impact that this approach to imparting academic knowledge presents. I look forward to your favorable response on this matter.
Moust, J. O. S. (2016). Introduction to problem-based learning. New York: Routledge.
Rimal, J., Paudel, B.H., & Shrestha, A. (2015). Introduction of problem-based learning in undergraduate dentistry program in Nepal. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, Vol. 5(Suppl 1):S45-S49. doi:10.4103/2229-516X.162276.
Schwartz, P. (2013). Problem-based learning. New Jersey: Routledge.
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