Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Objective: To compare students' test scores and perceptions of problem-based learning (PBL) and lecture-based learning (LBL) by applying a PBL-variant.
Method: For the transition from LBL to PBL, PBL was varied for one discipline only and for a large group of students. Two hundred forty nine second year medical students were taught a topic of Biochemistry by the LBL method and then 141 of these were taught another topic by the PBL-variant. At the conclusion of each topic an MCQ test was given. One week later a 9 item questionnaire was given to the 50 students now attending classes to assess their perceptions of the 2 teaching formats. The test scores of the two methods were compared. Students' ratings were differentiated by the Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test.
Results: There was no significant difference in the test scores by PBL or LBL, but PBL received significantly higher student ratings (p < 0.05) than LBL in self-study time, library time, number of books and computer consulted, enthusiasm for the topic, group discussion, depth of knowledge and interest taken in the teaching format. But there was no significant difference in students' ratings of the teacher's importance in either PBL or LBL.
Conclusion: PBL variant and LBL produced similar MCQ test scores but the former is more conducive to enthusiastic self-study. Thus in the transition phase, PBL may be applied to one discipline and a large group of students without undermining its merits.
Journal of Pakistan Medical Association
(2001). Problem-based learning variant: Transition phase for a large institution. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 51(8), 271-274.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_bbs/615