Collaborative Problem Based Learning – In or Out of the Classroom?

Price, K. and Welsh, M. (2019) Collaborative Problem Based Learning – In or Out of the Classroom? 12th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, Glasgow, UK, 2-3 Apr 2019.

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During two consecutive years, the student experience of learning by PBL from a popular media stimulus in two separate formats was investigated. Working in groups, 3rd year Human Biology students were given problems (one per group) in a one hour workshop, with 12 days to set learning objectives and report their findings back to the class. The comparison groups (3rd year Anatomy and Physiology students), were given the same prompt materials in a 2 hour classroom-based workshop; each group was asked to investigate their problem, supported by shared facilitators, and report back to the class within the two hours. Student opinions were investigated with a questionnaire. Students enjoyed both delivery methods, preferring the format they participated in. Students undertaking the two week task had higher self-reported levels of understanding of the topic, confidence in the subject, as well as more enjoyment of the peer collaboration. This academic session the study was repeated with a modification: a single scenario was used for the two hour workshop, each group investigating different aspects of the problem. Understanding and confidence levels were similar to the multiple problem format. The two hour format relies on digital resources to enable students to access information and significantly reduces time available for brainstorming, assimilation and reflection, which underpin the PBL process. However, it is not clear whether students undertaking investigation outside the classroom over a longer period spend more time investigating their questions, much of the additional time may be spent on preparing a presentation.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Price, Dr Katherine and Welsh, Dr Michelle
Authors: Price, K., and Welsh, M.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
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