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ERIC Number: EJ1147208
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
Student Motivation in Response to Problem-Based Learning
Fukuzawa, Sherry; Boyd, Cleo; Cahn, Joel
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v10 p175-187 2017
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a self-directed learning strategy where students work collaboratively in small groups to investigate open-ended relatable case scenarios. Students develop transferable skills that can be applied across disciplines, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Despite extensive research on problem-based learning, a thorough examination of student engagement in relation to PBL is lacking (Savin-Baden, 2014; 2016). We studied student motivation through self-reflection exercises, surveys, and peer-evaluations in a third-year undergraduate anthropology course (N = 49) with students of differing levels of course material experience. We hypothesized that throughout the course student motivation would be highest in students with the most subject matter experience. The results show that student motivation was higher in students with more subject matter experience at the beginning of the course, however during the course their motivation decreased. By the end of the course the majority of students had high motivation toward PBL, however, we were surprised that forensic specialists with the most subject matter experience had low motivation at the end of the course. This research is important to demonstrate the challenges of implementing PBL in a traditional curriculum, and to provide suggestions for engaging diverse student populations in PBL.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A