Designing a PBL Environment Using the 3C3R Method

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Andrew A. Tawfik Rebecca J Trueman Mathew M Lorz


With the growing emphasis being placed upon situated learning theory, designs increasingly implement problem-based learning (PBL) in various educational contexts. However, some of the difficulties instructional designers face include interweaving elements such as breadth, depth, and situated knowledge in a contextualized learning task. This design case details how the 3C3R method was systematically employed to design a PBL learning environment that highlights the effects of environmental toxins on human fertility. We also discuss how a case library learning environment (CLLE) was implemented and designed to support the decision-making process. This design case examines the challenges involved, such as misunderstandings between the SMEs and instructional designer as we contextualized complex issues related to human biology.  A discussion of how we designed for multiple solution paths is also included. Lastly, we discuss the challenges of interweaving the ill-structured problem with multiple narratives found in a case library.

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How to Cite
Tawfik, A., Trueman, R., & Lorz, M. (2013). Designing a PBL Environment Using the 3C3R Method. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 4(1).
Author Biographies

Andrew A. Tawfik, Concordia University Chicago

Dr. Andrew A. Tawfik is an assistant professor of Instructional Design and Technology at Concordia University Chicago where he serves as an instructor of educational technology. He earned his PhD in Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri. Tawfik’s research interests include problembased learning, case-based reasoning, case library instructional design, and computer-supported collaborative learning.

Rebecca J Trueman, Concordia University Chicago

Rebecca J. Trueman is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Concordia University Chicago where she teaches Biology for both non-science and science majors.  Rebecca holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Biology.  Recently, she has been developing educational technology to enhance the understanding of science.  Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

Mathew M Lorz, Concordia University Chicago

Matthew M. Lorz is the Chief Technology Officer of Sustainable Environments LLC.  Matt has spent many years involved with research that attempts to detangle anthropogenic effects on ecosystems.  His background in the arts has assisted in the development of creative, interesting and accessible cases for case-based reasoning studies.