Problem-Based Learning: Instructor Characteristics, Competencies, and Professional Development
Final rept. Jan-Oct 2010
DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP ANDOVER MA
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Preparing Soldiers to learn from problem-solving experiences requires that Army instructional practices become more responsive to individual student need, better attuned to operational requirements, and more representative of social learning contexts. To help instructors achieve this goal, the principles for facilitating problem-based learning must be investigated and their implications for professional development explicated. In this research, the instructor characteristics and competencies required to implement problem-based learning were explored. Techniques for instructor professional development in civilian and military contexts then were examined to identify best practices. The Army environment was assessed for its readiness to employ these best practices, and recommendations were developed. The findings suggest that the Army environment partially supports the development of problem-based learning facilitators. Recommendations emphasize transforming basic instructor preparation to be more outcomes-based and student-centered given the time, personnel, and resource constraints of the current Army environment. Ultimately, a comprehensive preparatory approach is needed that targets all implementers of Army education.
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- Military Forces and Organizations