Wendy Newstetter If, in 2000, you had the option to start from scratch— no courses, curriculum, or spaces— yet with the vision of guiding students to become truly integrative thinkers, to be able to move seamlessly between the world of engineering and the world of biology, what kind of learning environment would you have in place today?
Based on their theory of learning, that it should be situated and collaborative, Georgia Tech’s biomedical engineering faculty have achieved courses, program and space that engage students in authentic problem-solving, doing the kind of model-based reasoning that engineers do. In contrast with large classrooms where there is one whiteboard on which the professor displays what he or she knows, their PBL rooms are designed for groups of eight students–with wall-to-wall white boards. Here students can "go public," externalize and display what they are learning, and identify through that display what they do not yet know.
Kenneth Heller, Patricia Heller "There is no known 'best' way to teach. The most effective teaching method depends on the specific goals of a course, the strengths of the instructor, the needs of the students, and the constraints imposed by the situation. Determining a few achievable course goals is the first, and most important step in teaching."