ERIC Number: EJ816387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Problem-Based Learning at the Receiving End: A "Mixed Methods" Study of Junior Medical Students' Perspectives
Maudsley, Gillian; Williams, Evelyn M. I.; Taylor, David C. M.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v13 n4 p435-451 Oct 2008
Qualitative insights about students' personal experience of inconsistencies in implementation of problem-based learning (PBL) might help refocus expert discourse about good practice. Aim: This study explored how junior medical students conceptualize: PBL; good tutoring; and less effective sessions. Methods: Participants comprised junior medical students in Liverpool 5-year problem-based, community-orientated curriculum. Data collection and analysis were mostly cross-sectional, using inductive analysis of qualitative data from four brief questionnaires and a "mixed" qualitative/quantitative approach to data handling. The 1999 cohort (end-Year 1) explored PBL, generated "good tutor" themes, and identified PBL (dis)advantages (end-Year 1 then mid-Year 3). The 2001 cohort (start-Year 1) described critical incidents, and subsequently (end-Year 1) factors in less effective sessions. These factors were coded using coding-frames generated from the answers about critical incidents and "good tutoring". Results: Overall, 61.2% (137), 77.9% (159), 71.0% (201), and 71.0% (198) responded to the four surveys, respectively. Responders perceived PBL as essentially process-orientated, focused on small-groupwork/dynamics and testing understanding through discussion. They described "good tutors" as knowing when and how to intervene without dominating (51.1%). In longitudinal data (end-Year 1 to mid-Year 3), the main perceived disadvantage remained lack of "syllabus" (and related uncertainty). For less effective sessions (end-Year 1), tutor transgressions reflected unfulfilled expectations of good tutors, mostly intervening poorly (42.6% of responders). Student transgressions reflected the critical incident themes, mostly students' own lack of work/preparation (54.8%) and other students participating poorly (33.7%) or dominating/being self-centred (31.6%). Conclusion: Compelling individual accounts of uncomfortable PBL experiences should inform improvements in implementation.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Problem Based Learning, Teaching Methods, Foreign Countries, Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Medical Education, College Faculty, College Instruction, Teacher Effectiveness, Longitudinal Studies, Curriculum Implementation, Negative Attitudes, Program Effectiveness, Premedical Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Liverpool)