“Learning by doing…”: Can we assume that successful completion of a Problem-Based Learning curriculum provides the student with a good enough understanding of their own learning to maximize continuation of self-directed learning skills in professional practice?

Pettigrew, Catharine (2008) “Learning by doing…”: Can we assume that successful completion of a Problem-Based Learning curriculum provides the student with a good enough understanding of their own learning to maximize continuation of self-directed learning skills in professional practice? [Conference Proceedings]

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Abstract

Introduction: Problem-based learning is becoming more widely used in the education of healthcare professionals, including Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs). However, students’ lack of understanding of their own learning within PBL may form a barrier to the continuation of self-directed learning skills. This notion challenges the assumption in health disciplines that simply experiencing PBL will adequately facilitate this continuation of self-directed learning skills in professional practice. The current paper outlines an innovative PBL assessment that requires students to actively reflect on and critically evaluate the importance of the PBL approach in facilitating the development of their professional competence and life-long learning skills, to improve their understanding of their own learning. Methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out on the results of a third year assessment, whereby 25 third year SLT students completed a 1000-word essay, entitled “From Theory to Practice: Applications of the Problem-Based Learning Style to the Professional Practice of Speech and Language Therapy”. The students were assessed on content, style and formatting. Students also completed teaching evaluation forms on the taught module. Results: Students performed well on this essay (mean % = 67.08 ±12.25), and 78% of students agreed that the assignment was consistent with course objectives. Discussion: This is a valid method of assessment in a PBL curriculum, which aims to facilitate active student reflection on the PBL approach whilst integrating the prerequisites of meaningful and deep learning necessary for the continuation of self-directed learning skills. Conclusion: Further qualitative research is now required to objectively determine the direct impact of this assessment on students’ understanding of their own learning and hence its contribution to maximizing life-long learning skills. It may then be applied by a wide variety of educators to enhance the carryover of self-directed learning skills from education to professional practice.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 08:57
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 21:08
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3532

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