Characteristics of effective problems

Nachamma Sockalingam*, Henk G. Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter focuses on problems - the instructional materials used in problem-based learning (PBL) to initiate and guide learning. Despite the known importance of the quality of problems in PBL, there is not much empirical research on what constitutes effective problems. This chapter presents seminal work carried out in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore and Erasmus University, The Netherlands on characteristics of effective problems and provides guidelines on designing effective problems. In addition, this chapter provides a validity-and-reliability tested instrument shown to be useful in assessing the quality of problems in PBL.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOne-Day, One-Problem
Subtitle of host publicationAn Approach to Problem-based Learning
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789814021753
ISBN (Print)9814021741, 9789814021746
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2012. All rights are reserved.


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