Problem-based Learning: Evidence Exploration and Solution Assembly

November 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today we are continuing on solving one of the persistent yet urgent problems faced by UGA and Athens.


Your problem solving project will be graded according to this rubric.

How to submit

Within your group, use a Google Doc to organize your problem solving flow and write collaboratively with your group members.

Your Google Doc should have at least the following elements:

  1. Problem cases
  2. Evidence
  3. Solution

Then, you can use this Google Doc to present your group’s problem solving process. Once you present and receive feedback from classmates, your group will revise solution. Individually, you will reflect on your problem solving process in your portfolio.

So, you will create a “Problem Solving” page in your portfolio and will include the Google Presentation as well as your reflection on problem solving.

Evidence Exploration

Once your group has identified and defined the problem, you would move onto thinking about how to solve the problem and learning about what you need to know.

You are working on a variety of problems so it is hard for me to give specific resources. Instead, I can give you some guidance on finding the resources that you may need.

  • What kind of resources would be most useful?
  • Where should we look at to find resources on the topic?
  • What are some search keywords?
  • What does statistics say about the frequency or the serious of the problem?

Some places to look for information about universities and lives in America

US Census Bureau

Athens Clarke County Office

Red & Black


Once you locate some resources, examine it carefully.

  • How do you know if this information is correct and current?
  • Who is the author of this site and what credentials support his or her authority on the topic?
  • Are there other Web sites or resources that contain the same information?
  • What does a non-Web source say about the information found from the Web?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • How much of the site is primary source material?

It is helpful to use mind maps (concept maps) to organize evidence in relation to solutions. There are many Web 2.o collaborative mind tools. I like to use Mindomo. If you would like to use this tool, it is better to choose the “mind mapping and project collaboration” option. Sign up and start using with your group members.

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 8.13.45 AM

Solution Assembly


The first step for finding a solution to your problem is brainstorming. Your group members may have different ideas. Discuss and fill out this template. The key here is not to judge the solutions. List them as they are brought in without any prejudice.

Weighing alternatives

Once you have different ideas for solution, The Developing and Weighing alternatives page can guide weigh different options for your final solution. This page suggest you to make a grid of alternative solutions.  Draw grid on the back of the brainstorming page.

Solution justification

Once you have come up with a possible solution, be prepared to explain the following questions in your presentation.

  • Can you explain why you selected this solution?
  • What evidence have you found to support your solution?
  • How does your evidence support your solution?

For Monday:

Submit your Google Presentation URL via this form.  This form will help us smoothly transition from one presentation to the other. I understand that you will work on your presentation more so I will not look at your presentation until Monday.

You will give a presentation on your problem solving process: What problems you are solving, why is it a problem (evidence), and what are some solutions, and how can you justify your solution as a feasible and suitable solution to the problem.  Your presentation will last about 5 minutes and you will receive feedback from other teams.

After receiving feedback, you will revise your plan as a group and individually reflect on your problem solving process in your portfolio.


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