Problem-based learning tutors' conceptions of their development as tutors.Med Teach. 2009 Feb; 31(2):145-50.MT
The quality of student learning in hybrid problem-based learning (PBL) programs depends on PBL tutors' being effective in their role.
To explore PBL tutors' conceptions of their role and how they grow and develop as tutors, and map tutors' views to an emergent hierarchy of conceptions.
Participants were 29 tutors who had tutored in at least one 'block' of study in academic years 1-2 in the first half of 2007 in a 4-year, graduate-entry hybrid PBL medical program. Qualitative phenomenographic analysis was used to categorize tutors' written responses.
Four qualitatively different categories of conception of the PBL tutor role emerged. Categories increased in complexity and more complex conceptions included the preceding view. Analysis of tutors' conceptions of how they grow and develop as tutors also revealed four categories of increasing complexity. There was homogeneity in the relations between levels of sophistication in conceptions of the tutor role and developing as a tutor.
To help tutors become more effective in their role, development programs may need to engage tutors in thinking about how they develop as teachers, and in particular encourage them to solicit their own face-to-face student feedback.