Conceptions of problem-based learning: the perspectives of students entering a problem-based medical program.Med Teach. 2006 Sep; 28(6):573-5.MT
Effective learning in higher education is associated with students' perceptions of clear goals and standards of an educational program. In programs using problem-based learning (PBL), students' conceptions of what PBL is about could determine how well they perceive the clarity of goals and standards of their program. In this study the authors aim to investigate the relationship between the nature of first-year students' conceptions of PBL and their perceptions of the clarity of goals and standards of a graduate-entry, problem-based medical program. Results are that most students conceive of PBL as mainly working collaboratively to solve and understand a problem, and place less emphasis on PBL as learning independently. There is no relationship between students' conceptions and perceived clarity of course goals and standards. It is suggested that teachers not only need to help students develop their understanding of what PBL is about but also need to help students learn how to self-regulate their learning in PBL programs.