PD6: Problem Solving gives students the knowledge and skills they need to approach and tackle complex problems in the workplace. Effective problem solving isn’t as simple as snapping fingers and making a decision — it takes creativity, communication, and careful analysis. Students who take PD6 work through sample problems using a systematic process and make plans that are flexible and robust enough for use in any workplace.

What do PD6 students do?

  • Apply systematic problem-solving models and decision-making tools to case studies
  • Create a problem-solving action plan for future use in the workplace
  • Reflect on their personal approach to problem solving
  • Connect their experience solving problems in the workplace or during academic study to lecture concepts

If you've completed PD6 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Identified personal problem-solving style and gained understanding of other styles; reflected on past experiences in order to better solve problems alone and with others in the workplace
  • Analyzed real-world problems by identifying risks and stakeholders; used root-cause analysis 
  • Used decision-making tools such as benefit-drawback charts/weighted decision matrices to generate multiple solutions and identify the best solution to a problem
  • Identified ways to minimize potential barriers to problem-solving in interactive simulation; practiced addressing barriers by writing context statement

How are PD6 students graded?

PD6 students complete a series of questionnaires and written exercises over the course of the term. To pass the course, students must earn an overall grade of 50% or higher. Students must also earn a grade of 50% or higher on the final assignment to earn their credit. Students can deepen their learning by completing a bonus assignment worth 5% during the term.

If you have a question about grading in PD6, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD6’s instructors are Marlene Griffith-Wrubel and Lynn Long. Marlene is a student advisor with Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA) at the University of Waterloo. Lynn is a senior education consultant with Waterloo’s Conflict Management and Human Rights office.


PD6 is offered during the Fall and Winter terms.

Enrolment information

PD6 is an elective PD course for students in all faculties. Students must enrol themselves in the course using Quest.

Contact information

Course team: pd6@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Trish Owens