Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Dale Andersen

Number of Pages



This study was intended to discover what Problem-Based Learning (PBL) looks like in graduate departments of higher education according to faculty who use PBL methodology in their curriculum and graduate students who experience PBL in their courses. This study also attempted to further understand the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of PBL as perceived by both faculty and graduate students; After a comprehensive review of literature, two surveys were constructed, one for faculty and one for graduate students. The questions for both surveys were composed based on the information gleaned from the review of literature. The American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) was selected as the population to be surveyed because it was an accessible population that could easily be controlled and many of the 189 members offered graduate programs in Higher Education; Once the population was determined, surveys were sent to both faculty and graduate students who agreed to participate. A qualitative comparative analysis was also conducted with three cooperating professors; The data revealed many similarities between faculty and graduate student responses in relation to research studies previously conducted on the use of PBL. Both faculty and graduate students favorably agree that PBL provides critical thinking, as well as offers opportunities to use real-world problems and therefore, hones readiness for on-the-job experiences. The results of the data did show, however, that there is a discrepancy as to what type of PBL faculty use in the classroom and what type of PBL students perceive they are receiving; There is a need for continued research on the use of PBL and further quantitative studies on how it affects the student learner. PBL has limitations, which were discussed in the study. The researcher concluded that PBL is another type of teaching methodology that can be used in the classroom to embellish constructivist learning and provides opportunities for adults to use their previous knowledge and skills. PBL, however, is not the panacea for student learning although it can provide an alternative path of education.


Based; Education; Graduate; Graduate Programs; Higher; Higher Education; Learning; Problem; Problem-based Learning; Programs

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Education, Higher; Adult education

File Format


File Size

17745.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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