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An Innovative Learning Approach to Solving Problems

Dr. Kristy Smith – VP of Education

Problem-based learning is where we bring our real-world professionals into the classrooms as our faculty. Faculty are coaching students, students become colleagues and peers to each other, and work in problem-solving groups with what they’re doing in their daily lives. They’re bringing from their work into the classroom and back and forth. So it’s real-world problem-based learning.

Dr. Chris Davis – Vice Provost

At CTU, our philosophy is to prepare people not for book knowledge, but how to apply knowledge in the real world. And problem-based learning is a key strategy that we use for that. Unless you’re going to be a contestant on a game show, it’s not about what trivia you know or what’s in books – it’s about what problems you can solve for an employer. And so problem-based learning takes that model and puts it in the classroom. So we’re teaching students how to solve problems. And they’re demonstrating their learning of solving that through that problem-solving approach within the classroom where they have a faculty member who is mentoring and guiding them on how does an expert approach those problems, how does an expert solve those problems, and how do you deal with the things that come up that aren’t in the textbook anymore. Because nobody’s figured it out before.

Dr. Imad al Saeed – Program Director, Information Technology

The problem-based learning is a new educational approach that can challenge the students in learning in real-life environments. So we will present our students to real-life problems and have them provide an effective and cost-efficient solution to overcome these kinds of problems.

Dr. Connie Johnson – Provost and Chief Academic Advisor

We’ve put problem-based learning into our Master’s level courses because it’s a higher level of problems. So what we know is that employers want employees that can come in and solve complex problems. Think about what you do in your daily job – you solve problems. Problem-based learning allows us to bring a complex problem into the classroom, and then the students solve that problem throughout the duration of the class.