ERIC Number: ED416230
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Individual Roles and Group Dynamics in a Problem-Based Learning Classroom: Generating and Evaluating Skill-Oriented Learning Objectives.
Shimoda, Todd A.; Takayesu, James Kimo
The learner's role in acquiring cognitive and interpersonal skills in a first-year medical school course in neurobiology (12 students) that used a small-group, problem-based teaching method. Objectives of the study were to: (1) determine the cognitive and interpersonal skills the students believed were important; (2) evaluate how well the students believed the course helped them acquire the skills they generated as well as the skills the instructor generated; (3) quantify students' beliefs about their individual learning styles; (4) determine if there are significant correlations between course evaluations and learning style beliefs; and (5) analyze the small group process to provide illuminating examples and identify the individual roles the students took during the group dynamics. Students who rated the course higher tended to describe themselves as more active learners who prefer to build concepts interactively, prefer to use intuition more than existing concrete models, and tend to re-evaluate their understandings of concepts continually. Students who rated the course lower tended to describe themselves as passive learners who prefer to model concepts in their heads, prefer to use existing concrete models to guide their thinking, and who are frustrated by discussions of concepts they feel they already understand. In the videotaped group sessions it was observed that students variously took the executive, recorder, contributor, critic/evaluator, and assimilator roles described by A. Brown and A. Palincsar (1989). "Clarifier" and "cheerleader" roles were also identified in this study. It is hoped that this information on the role of the learner in acquiring cognitive and interpersonal skills in small group, problem-based curricula will be of value for increasing the effectiveness of skill-oriented instruction. An appendix presents the outline for a learning workshop session.(Contains 3 tables and 10 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).