A rapid PBL that probes the Protestant reformation, pellagra studies of the 1910s, and promises of the internet

Probe—Create Change—Reflect

At short notice I designed the following session for a faculty seminar on “Science in Context” using a rapid Project-Based Learning format.  After 50 minutes, the five participants reported back on their very different paths of inquiry.  I hope to add a comment on this post when I have digested the experience.


I want to:

  • provide participants with an experience of project-based learning (PBL) of the kind I use in my teaching about science in context. Students often learn a lot in a short time — usually 3 weeks, but sometimes 50 minutes — by addressing a scenario or case in which the problems are not well defined, shaping their own directions of inquiry, and reporting back.
  • gain stimulation from your reporting back about whether the seemingly liberating possibilities of PBL research using the internet are producing biases analogous to those from pellagra studies of the 1910s (see #1…

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