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LEARNING/TEACHING
Year : 2002  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 326-334

Inside PBL Groups: Observation, Confermations and Challenges


Institute for Educational Research, University of Oslo, Norway

Correspondence Address:
Kirsten Hofgaard Lycke
University of Oslo, Institute for Educational Research, PB 1092 Blindern, 0317 Oslo
Norway
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


This article is based on a study of nine problem-based learning (PBL) groups with eight medical students and one tutor in each. The groups were observed at their two-weekly meetings for three weeks. The observations were recorded by video and written reports. Three illustrative examples of these observations are presented and discussed. The purpose of the study was to understand how processes in PBL groups correspond with the theory-based intentions for this type of learning and teaching and to discuss the theoretical foundations for problem-based learning. The observations con.rm the expectation that groups in the observed program would follow a systematic stepwise progression. The groups were also found to become more exible and self-directed in their use of PBL as they became more familiar with the approach, provided that the tutor did not dominate the interactions. It is argued that processes in problem-based learning should be understood not only in the light of theories focusing on individual learning and knowledge construction, but also from other theoretical perspectives. Socio-cultural perspectives with constructs such as collaborative learning, apprenticeship and modelling shed new light on what happens inside PBL groups in ways that will enhance learning and tutoring.


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