The Perception and Usefulness of Problem Based Learning Among Medical Students
Background: Problem Based Learning (PBL) has been increasing adopted in medical school worldwide. Problem based learning is an instructional strategy in which learner-centred method is utilised and “problems” are used as the focus of learning in small groups. Problembased learning grounded in cognitive theory and with its origins in medical education, is a useful approach for teaching students how to think critically and solve problems they will encounter.
Objectives: To determine the student’s perception and usefulness of problem based learning among the clinical specialties of medical departments of Melaka Manipal Medical College.
Methodology: College based cross sectional study was conducted at Melaka Manipal Medical College, Melaka, Malaysia from August to October 2012. Self administered questionnaires were distributed to fial year medical students who had undergone PBL classes in all discipline. Data were analyzed by using SPSS 16 software. To assess perception, fie points Likert scale was used for scoring.
Results: There were 220 students participated in this study and majority of the respondents were Malay 84 (38.2%) with mean age of 23 years (SD: 0.88). Most of the students (78.3%) perceived that facilitator motivated them to study during the session, (76.9%) perceived that PBL classes were well plan and structure and (75%) of them perceived that PBL classes helped them to identify the weakness in learning topics and to develop communication skill. Regarding usefulness of PBL classes more than 90% of students stated that PBL classes helped them to develop team collaboration, self-directed learning, and problem solving skill.
Study Limitations: This is the cross-sessional study regarding the student’s perception on usefulness of problem based study. It will be better if we can perform intervention study regarding usefulness of the PBL classes.
Conclusions: There is strong evidence that students have positive perception on PBL classes and helped them to develop scientifi basis
of deep and structured learning. However, there is a need to continually evaluate teaching strategies employed within medical schools
to ensure effective learning
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