Harnessing Problem-Based Learning to Foster Student Adaptability and Inter-Cultural Awareness and Exchange

Karadzhov, D. , Sharp, L. and Langan Martin, J. (2022) Harnessing Problem-Based Learning to Foster Student Adaptability and Inter-Cultural Awareness and Exchange. 15th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 29 Mar 2022.

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The role of authentic curriculum design in promoting many of the graduate attributes necessary to create ‘global students’ in a progressively competitive and internationalised job market has been increasingly recognised. Problem-based learning (PBL) allows learners to apply creative and critical thinking to authentic, contextualised problems and therefore enhance their analytical and interpersonal skills to prepare them for vocational success (Yorke & Harvey, 2005). To create an enriched and inclusive learning environment, curricula should be responsive to both learners' diverse learning needs and their unique cultural experiences (Karadzhov, Sharp & Langan Martin, 2021). This presentation offers insights into how PBL can be integrated into small-group, tutorial-based teaching that aims to foster subject-specific knowledge and student adaptability as well as inter-cultural awareness and exchange. A series of PBL tutorial activities were introduced in the on-campus MSc Global Mental Health Programme as part of its transition to online teaching as a result of COVID-19 in 2020. The tutorials required that students collaborate and draw upon both their experiential and subject-specific knowledge to solve complex tasks mimicking real-world professional activities. One example is designing a mental health training curriculum for medics in low-income settings. Student feedback will be presented - indicating the value of PBL in facilitating experiential learning and authentic inter-cultural exchange. Good practice tips and lessons learned will be shared on how to optimally design and evaluate PBL that is inclusive of learners' diverse learning needs and cultural experiences. Staff and student benefits and challenges will be shared to prompt group reflection on the transferability and scalability of this approach. Attendees will be invited to reflect on opportunities to embed this pedagogic approach within their practice and harness it to foster some of the skills and values that are characteristic of ethically and culturally aware and socially responsible ‘global students’.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sharp, Dr Laura and Langan-Martin, Dr Julie and Karadzhov, Dr Dimitar
Authors: Karadzhov, D., Sharp, L., and Langan Martin, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
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