An International Conference on Problem-Based Learning
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Karl Smith

Karl A. Smith is Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His principal research area is the role of collaboration and cooperation in learning and design. Karl's appointment is currently split between the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University where he works with faculty in the Lilly Teaching Fellows Program, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Natural Science and the College of Engineering. He has served as co-coordinator for the Bush Faculty Development Program for Excellence and Diversity in Teaching, and associate director for education at the Center for Interfacial Engineering at the University of Minnesota; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning; and as chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. Karl was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1998. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Karl has published numerous articles on the active learning strategies of cooperative learning and structured controversy, knowledge representation and expert systems, and instructional uses of personal computers. He teaches courses on building models to solve problems; civil engineering systems--decision engineering, network analysis, linear programming, simulation, and expert systems--and project management and leadership. He conducts workshops on active and cooperative learning, problem formulation and modeling, project management and teamwork, and building small expert systems. Karl has conducted project management sessions through the Carlson School of Management's Executive Development Center including Fundamentals of Project Management, Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Management Academy, and the Minnesota Management Institute; has taught project management courses in the Center for the Development of Technological Leadership master's programs (Manufacturing Systems and Management of Technology); and has conducted project management workshops for several organizations.

Karl has written seven books including How to model it: Problem solving for the computer age (with A.M. Starfield and A.L. Bleloch), published by Burgess International in 1994; Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom (with David and Roger Johnson), published by Interaction Book Company in 1991; Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructional productivity (with David and Roger Johnson), published by ASHE-ERIC Reports on Higher Education in 1991; New paradigms for college teaching (co-edited with William Campbell), published by Interaction Book Company in 1997; Academic controversy: Enriching college instruction with constructive controversy (with David and Roger Johnson), published by ASHE-ERIC Reports on Higher Education in 1997; Project management and teamwork, published in McGraw-Hill's BEST Series in 2000; and Strategies for energizing large classes: From small groups to learning communities (with James Cooper and Jean MacGregor) published in Jossey-Bass's New Direction for Teaching and Learning series in 2000.

The Role of Collaboration in Designing and Practicing Problem-Based Learning

Students working together to formulate and solve hard problems and to learn dense and conceptually complex material is at the heart of problem-based learning. This address summarizes the underlying role of cooperation and collaboration in PBL as well as strategies for designing and practicing effective problem-based cooperative learning.

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