Problem Based Learning


Problem Based Learning

From 2000 to 2002, Gregory Saville, of AlterNation, and international PBL expert Gerry Cleveland helped developed the first ever national field training program based on PBL. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and coordinated by the Police Executive Research Forum under the direction of Chief Jerry Hoover and his officers in the Reno Police.

In the spring of 2002, field- testing of the program was completed. It was successfully piloted in Reno, NV, Lowell, MA, Savannah, GA, Colorado Springs, CO, Richmond, CA, and Charlotte, NC. It is now published by the COPS office on their website.

In 2003 Saville and Cleveland were hired by the COPS office to develop and teach a two week PBL Certification program in Instructor Development. That was published in 2004 and is now an annual, on-going certification courses conducted by Saville and Cleveland. Contact AlterNation for details..

A Professional PBL Society

These training programs inaugurated a new association for promoting PBL in policing. It is called the Police Society for Problem Based Learning ( You can visit that website for information about problem based learning in policing, networks of participants, and membership information.

The PSPBL also coordinates an international PBL instructor certification program with 4 different levels of competency. Successful completion of the two week PBL instructor development qualifies candidates to apply for Level 3 certification.

One day seminar – Let us help you change

This one day Primer introduces the philosophy of PBL as an educational method at your institution. We will:

  1. Outine the differences, and different results, from a PBL classroom
  2. Provide material on what the research says
  3. Provide in-class demonstrations of various PBL methods
  4. Describe emotional Intelligence skills development such as conflict management and self-awareness
  5. Discuss evaluation rubrics and assessing results
  6. Emphasize the importance of competent PBL instructors and group tutoring skills

Finally we provide examples from PBL implementation over the past decade including case studies from police training, academic institutions, professional training environments, and police academies. We wrap up with a review of legal liability, implementation hurdles, and the organizational cultural pros and cons during a PBL reform process.

We have a network of certified instructors and PBL experts who will help you move forward in training and problem solving.

We will conduct a one-day primer course to orient your agency, leaders, officers, and community to the PBL method of moving.


A two week certification course

Course Description

In this program you will learn the teaching and learning methods of problem based learning –PBL – and emotional intelligence skills development. It is an intensive, “top gun” school for instructors and educators who teach adults in corporate training, post-secondary education, and professional development programs.
Originally designed, and still taught, as PBL for police academy instructors and field training officers, the program has now expanded to include adult educators in all facets of learning.

By combining classes from different professional venues, learners teach each other lessons about teaching in a wide variety of settings. After a short period of front loaded adult learning instruction, students form into cohort groups and experience two full PBL projects during the course.
There are also journaling assignments, evening film and EI projects, one-on-one interviews with instructors, individual instructional practice sessions, as well as more traditional videos, reading assignments, and guided discussions.

The capstone project is a Leadership Assignment that each student presents at an open forum on the final day with a long-term plan for PBL implementation in the months following the course. Successful candidates are eligible for PBL Instructor Certification in the Police Society for Problem Based Learning.

Who Should Attend?

  1. Adult educators in a variety of teaching environments
  2. College and University professors and instructors
  3. Police academy instructors
  4. Law enforcement supervisors,
  5. Police officers in training roles
  6. Police field trainers
  7. Professional trainers

Course Contains
Topics include

  1. Introduction to the philosophy of PBL and the ill-structured problem
  2. The 5 step group learning process
  3. Co-operative learning groups
  4. Pulse teaching
  5. Teacher efficacy assessments
  6. Evaluation rubrics as a more advanced way to assess
  7. PBL group mentoring and tutoring skills
  8. Emotional intelligence skills development
  9. Avoiding reliance on AV and PowerPoint
  10. Multiple intelligence skills testing
  11. Construction curricula with scaffolding
  12. Avoiding cognitive load
  13. Liability and ethics


The 2 week PBL course is taught by the developers of the program, Gerard Cleveland, from Conscious Community Solutions and Gregory Saville, from AlterNation LLC.

Information on Gerard Cleveland is at:!contact/c1d94



Copyright © 2005-2018 AlterNation Inc. All Rights Reserved. Website By Möbius Multimedia
« Top of Page