Date Awarded

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Pamela L Eddy

Committee Member

Mark Hofer

Committee Member

Gene Roche


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a method of instruction that challenges students to answer questions in a practical manner using their understanding of learned course content. The question at the heart of this study concerns if and how faculty in one institution are currently using PBL. I used an exploratory descriptive case study to research the perceptions of Arts & Sciences (A&S) faculty on the use of PBL as an instructional approach to support the academic learning of students. The use of PBL is suggested in the university’s general education requirements, and yet may not be familiar to the all Arts & Sciences faculty members. I designed a survey instrument sent to all A&S faculty to determine if and how PBL is being used, and what resources or supports may be needed to support the use of PBL in A&S departments. This study found that while many faculty members had heard of PBL, there were concerns, across all disciplines and programs of instruction, about the implementation, resources, and training needed to support the use of PBL. This study concluded that faculty participants desired greater professional development in the use of PBL and improved access to resources germane to specific fields of study. Differences in use of PBL emerged based on discipline, faculty career stage, and tenure status. Faculty using PBL saw its potential as an effective method to meet the needs of students as they pursue further study or enter the workforce.



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