PBL – The Role of the Facilitator

20 Jul

One of the greatest challenges for an instructor in a PBL unit is to adapt to the role of facilitator. This week my assignment was to reflect on the following questions:

  • Will my role in the teaching/learning process change? I view my role of teacher as that of a facilitator to act as a guide for the students not some talking know-it-all in the front of the class. Of course there are times when the teacher does need to provide whole group instruction but not all class period everyday! I don’t see my role changing a lot, as this has been my general style of teaching for many years.
  • What are the skills of effective facilitation? Time, team, and classroom management skills are all critical in order to keep everything moving and organized, all while letting the students “manage” their own learning. Good questioning skills are also important; you need to guide the students through a questioning process instead of just telling them what to do next. You also need to be able to gauge where your students are at in the learning process. Do they need you to take a step back or speed things up?
  • Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful? Yes! While they may not all reach the same level of mastery, they will develop the skills necessary to be successful. The only obstacles to them succeeding are if they don’t come to class or do the work (students cannot learn if they are not present physically or mentally).
  • What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit? I will need to do better with time management, have more structured check points, and continue to use formative assessments to guide the pacing.


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