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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 189-201

Students' and Tutors' Perceptions of Problems in PBL Tutorial Groups at a Brazilian Medical School

1 Marilia Medical School, Brazil
2 Maastricht University, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Mauricio B Zanolli
Coordinator of Medical Course at Marilia Medical School, Rua do Calva´ rio, 95, Marilia 17513-220
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Introduction: There are few published studies that address the problem of dysfunctional tutorial groups. Most studies are restricted to student or faculty opinions separately and to speci.c aspects affecting the tutorial group function. This study examined teacher and student perceptions of frequency and importance of problems observed in tutorial groups in a new PBL program. Methods: Tutors (n=30) and students in the second (n=75) and third (n=53) year completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the 1999 academic year. The questionnaire had 33 items grouped as seven ''factors'' related to tutor performance, feedback, assessment, educational resources, student performance, educational problems and external factors Results: The most important problems identi.ed were related to tutors (mainly in training aspects) and students (mainly in problem discussion). Students and feedback (quality) were the most frequent. There were statistically signi.cant differences between tutors' and students' (higher) and between second and third year (higher) students' perceptions of different factors. Conclusions: (1) Marilia Medical School (FAMEMA) has problems in the tutorial group function mainly related to contributions of students and tutors. (2) Students' and tutors' opinions, as well as those of second and third year students, differ and therefore all need to be consulted to solve tutorial group problems. (3) It is necessary to develop a better student training program and also to improve the tutors training program. (4) There is a need for continued evaluation of problem-based learning at FAMEMA. We must look at perceptions of students from all years.

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