What do students perceive as the educational value of PBL in a systems based graduate entry curriculum and does it promote development of teamworking?

Liston, A., Heaphy, P. and Donnelly, S. (2013) What do students perceive as the educational value of PBL in a systems based graduate entry curriculum and does it promote development of teamworking? In: 6th scientific meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED), 21st February to Friday 22nd February 2013, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.


AIM To determine how graduate entry students view the educational “utility” of modified PBL in a clinically integrated hybrid 4 year curriculum and to investigate the perceived contribution of PBL to the team working aspect of medical practice. METHOD Students completed a questionnaire following the final PBL “wrap up” in Stage 2. Students selected the opportunities afforded by Problem Based Learning in terms of their overall learning and development and scored both (i) overall team performance and (ii) component aspects or domains of team performance. Tutors also rated their group RESULTS 61 of 93 Stage II GEM students completed the questionnaire in December 2012. Mean team performance score was 74/ 100 (range 68-85; n=7). Mean tutor score was 61 (range 50-75). The “TOP 5” educational opportunities afforded by PBL identified by the students were to 1. develop clinical reasoning skill 2. have a practising doctor facilitate their learning 3. consider basic sciences in the context in which they will later use them 4. practice searching for appropriate information and sources thereof 5. (tied) participate in team based learning; identify and fill knowledge gaps and present findings concisely & in context. Students scored the following aspects highly: respect for one another; managing personalities to avoid group conflict and professional attitude. They identified weak performance in time management; punctuality and sharing of ideas and resources DISCUSSION & CONCLUSIONS As PBL is acknowledged to be resource intensive it is important to ensure that PBL “delivers” as student numbers increase. Four objectives must be achieved for a truly problem-based approach; (a) structuring knowledge for better recall and application in clinical contexts;(b) developing effective clinical reasoning ; (c) developing self-directed learning; (d) increasing motivation for learning (Barrows,1986). This study provides evidence that modified PBL achieves these objectives and confirms its utility in developing skills fundamental to lifelong learning such as identification & rectification of knowledge gaps and information retrieval. Students also report that they value team based learning. Assessment of domains of team performance revealed broad agreement in ranking between students and tutors. External factors such as larger group size pose challenges for time management in PBL and this may require attention by curriculum managers. Less easily addressed is the poor rating given to sharing of ideas and resources, suggesting that further effort is required to promote the development of true “team players” from the PBL experience.

[thumbnail of INMED 2013 Book Of Abstracts.pdf]
INMED 2013 Book Of Abstracts.pdf

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