An Example Of A Scholarly Source Is A Peer-Reviewed Journal Problem-Based Learning (PBL): A Review of the Current Literature

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Problem-Based Learning (PBL): A Review of the Current Literature

Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a relatively new teaching strategy that has revolutionized teaching and learning processes in many parts of the world and in different fields of knowledge.

This teaching method was developed and implemented at the McMaster University School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada around 1969 as a teaching strategy and as part of a new curriculum. American neurologist and medical educator, Dr. Howard S. Burroughs (Oak Park, Illinois, 1928 – 2011) was a pioneer in this effort. Today, forty-six years after its creation and implementation in practice, PBL has undergone changes in conceptualization, practice guidelines, implementation, adaptation, improvement, subject to research studies and extensive debates carried out by many academic institutions as well. Creating indexed journals that collect all this information and serve as the main mechanism for knowledge release. Furthermore, its influence was such that it grew exponentially, expanding to all continents until it landed in the Dominican Republic in 2013. It was the Dominican University School of Medicine O&M (O&Med) that was the first academic institution to incorporate problem-based learning (PBL) into its curriculum and throughout the 6-year career program.

The traditional teaching A methodology is one in which the focus is on imparting knowledge teacher (Teacher-centered learning). The teacher includes active part Student-teacher binomial According to the traditional format, which has been known and practiced for centuries, of imparting knowledge to a group of students or an audience so that they can Let’s learn. So how do we accomplish this task using traditional teaching strategies? Taking notes, asking questions, reading from different sources such as textbooks or magazines. In this way, a person learns about the studied subject, which will ultimately be evaluated by exams, papers or practical work, which, in turn, can be passed or failed. That is why this traditional methodology is called teacher-centered learning2. In contrast, students are passive component in the context of a binomial relationship and, although the vast majority of people are educated in this way, it is not necessarily something that promotes the development of certain specific and basic skills, abilities and competencies in students. Finally, it will complement the acquired knowledge.

In problem-based learning, the construction of knowledge is based on the fact that: to solve a problem or case Presented by the teacher, students should be guided in the process of discussion, research and practical application of knowledge in order to actually get the expected result; To solve the problem. All this happens while loading information from almost all courses taken in parallel with the academic course and applying the newly acquired knowledge “in practice”. In general, problem-based learning asserts that decisions are made based on collaborative work among students, working in groups with the support and guidance of a facilitator.

PBL asserts that problem solving through case studies requires domain knowledge; However, the integration of this information does not and remains only an oral activity, but as part of a critical thinking process and practical application of the learned material. Teachers who follow this methodology share knowledge, provide guidance, follow the learning objectives of the case, and then assess students with a classical test, but also determine unsolved problem So students are asked to use information in different contexts – and approach it from different perspectives – by developing and strengthening discussion, reflection and deep analysis, clear and organized reasoning and creativity, among other skills.

PBL focuses on learning, research, and engagement by students on a topic, with teachers acting as facilitators and guides to problem solving, but not as an absolute authority who only provides information on the subject. The facilitator’s role is not limited to the transfer of information, but also to orient and monitor students to guarantee compliance with the learning objectives of the case, to facilitate the acquisition and development of previously defined transferable skills that will link the conceptual baggage. To achieve the final product: a graduate or post-graduate degree developed with unique cognitive and learning skills and competencies. This range of teaching and learning features enables students and graduates to position themselves in selected tiers of both academic and professional excellence and stimulates them to be highly competitive in a global market context. Graduates will thus be empowered and equipped with useful tools, which in turn will increase their confidence and competitiveness to pursue further academic training, employment or entrepreneurship.

In problem-based learning, student performance and progress are assessed based on two main measurable assessment aspects:

  • Quantitative and

  • qualitative

Quantitative The assessment includes three measurable subgroups: 1) active group participation During each session, 2) self-directed learning or Independent workand 3) preparation and submission of the solved case to A Plenary session. All of these subcategories are scored as a percentage of the more complex evaluation process. In addition, students also take both mid-term and final exams in all academic courses. This evaluation process helps teachers (facilitators) to evaluate better objective Aspects of methodology. The full evaluation process takes place after the groups have already presented more than 2 cases, sometimes only one, depending on the length and complexity of the problem. Both exams are also assigned a percentage of overall marks.

in contrast, qualitative Evaluation is done more at the level of acquisition and improvement Transferable skills and competencies, which I have already mentioned. They are discussed in more detail ahead. Before I continue to break down these concepts, I want to define what is meant by transferable skills. They are nothing but the innate capacities and abilities of all human beings which are first identified, developed and then shaped in such a way that the bearer can ultimately use, transfer or extrapolate practically in any setting or field of knowledge. They may find themselves. These skills are not only called “transferable” because of the fact that students copy them from others, but also because of their extrapolation to similar or different fields outside of health care. These skills are also used in non-professional settings, such as household activities, family gatherings, sports, politics, etc. And they can effectively contribute to the achievement of any goal.

To give examples of these so-called transferable skills that I mentioned, which students develop through problem-based learning (PBL), we find:

o Critical thinking

o Time management

o Organizational

o Decision making

o Solving the problem

o Teamwork as team leaders and as team players

o Leadership

o Interprofessional communication

o Creativity

o Confidence

o Public speaking

o Analysis and synthesis

o Possibility of interdisciplinary integration of knowledge

Both types of assessment take place during the academic course and the results are monitored accordingly. Afterwards, feedback time is set aside for active discussion between facilitators and students to share accounts of their results in each assessment subgroup. The combination of all these evaluations and results are parameters that provide us with a more objective, consistent and as if A predictive idea of ​​predicting the profile and trajectory of our desired graduates.

In 1994 and again later in 1996, Howard S. Burrows recognized that in the medical field, the act of diagnosing a patient—which is part of the physician’s duty—is based on a combination of hypothetico-deductive reasoning and expert knowledge processes. in different domains. Teaching discipline-specific content (eg anatomy, neurology, pharmacology, psychology, etc.) as distinctly separate subjects and using traditional teaching techniques contributed very little to providing ‘context’ to students.

Problem-based learning (PBL) with its positive outcomes, however innovative and versatile, provides both students and academic institutions with the necessary opportunities to enable graduates to integrate into society as professionals with a high level of integrity to fulfill their roles, As leaders, decision makers and opinion makers in any field. This also applies to other high-level institutions or people who contribute to health promotion and disease prevention, or timely interventions when necessary. These characteristics give professionals the ability to make an impact at the individual, community, national and global levels.

Many articles from all corners of the planet have been published on research in the context of PBL, and many authors agree that there is still much to investigate and innovate. Among the existing relevant studies on PBL, I mention the studies of Juri Valtanen (Finland, 2014) on questioning patterns in PBL lessons; An array of publications by Hmelo-Silver & Barrows et. al.; Kathryn Coelho Facilitators Facilitation for Facilitation; Constance Bowe & Thomas Aretz on PBL during the preclinical years of medical school and many more.

Most researchers agree that there is still a lack of more research, particularly in the following specific areas of PBL: 1) establishing a clear and objective guide to the principles and foundations of PBL, 2) identifying conceptual improvements in the role of facilitators, 3) long-term monitoring of questioning patterns, that arise during learning sessions, 4) Deliberately targeting quantitative and qualitative assessment of questions and answers generated during PBL lessons, focusing on facilitators and students to establish a long-term balance point, 5) Facilitating a strategy where most questions come from students, encouraging debate and discussion and not from the facilitators. This is the most common concern in the literature, but recommendations for further research are not limited to this.

My personal position is that in five to ten years—hopefully less—when problem-based learning becomes more widespread, tested, and defined, both the teaching and research communities will report much better, more accurate, and well-defined results. In general, so will the greater understanding and acceptance of PBL in most curricula. So much so that I insist that there is not a single field of knowledge (medicine, law, engineering, nursing, accounting, economics, IT technology, architecture, etc.) that does not have experience using problem-based learning as useful. Methodology.

Those – like me – for whom education is a key pillar for the growth and development of people and society face a big challenge when it comes to curriculum innovation and better learning outcomes. I believe it is time to think about where we are now, where we are going and whether we want to go there, to really focus on the goals of teaching and learning in the twenty-first century. This is shown by the work of world experts Active learning – through PBL – is key to achieving academic success, especially when open access Information is easily accessible to all kinds of students everywhere; To make all these processes – self-directed and active learning – easier and more productive.

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