Navigating Problem Based Learning book cover

Navigating Problem Based Learning

This title is directed primarily towards health care professionals outside of the United States. Many medical and health professional schools have replaced their traditional curriculum with problem based learning, or a derivative. This book is designed to provide a comprehensive guide and resource for students in the early years of these courses, and will assist them to adapt their learning style to working with others in small groups. The book explains the differences between PBL and traditional learning, the aims and essential elements of PBL, and provides the keys for successful group discussion. Students are shown how to define the learning issues and how to construct their own mechanisms for each case they study, before moving on to the aims and tools commonly used in assessment, and tips for increasing scores in examinations. The book will also assist tutors to design cases.

Undergraduate medical students – the first two years of the course; those students encountering PBL for the first time in postgraduate medical courses (graduate students preparing for GAMSAT)


Published: January 2008

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-7295-7827-1


  • Foreword
    About This Book
    Why Did I write This Book?
    Who Should Read This Book?
    How This Book Is Organized

    PART I Introduction to Problem-Based Learning
    1. Problem-Based Learning Overview
    Why Do We Do Problem-Based Learning?
    How Is Problem-Based Learning Different from What I Used to Do?
    Defining Problem-Based Learning
    What Are the Aims of Problem-Based Learning?
    What Are the Roles of Tutors in Problem-Based Learning?
    2. Problem-Based Learning Cases
    Essential Elements in a Problem-Based Learning Case
    Educational Tasks in Problem-Based Learning Templates
    What Makes a Good Problem-Based Learning Case?
    3. Problem-Based Learning Tutorials
    Steps in Problem-Based Learning Tutorials
    Student-Centered Approach and Collaborative Learning
    Qualities of a Successful Group
    Keys for Successful Group Discussion
    Action Verbs and Group Dynamics
    Typical Problems in Problem-Based Learning Tutorials
    PART II How to Foster Your Study Skills in a Problem-Based Learning Course?
    4. Self-Directed Learning
    What Does Self-Directed Learning Mean?
    Self-Directed Learning vs Spoon Feeding Approach
    Self-Directed Learning and Problem-Based Learning Curriculum
    Research and Self-Directed Learning
    5. Learning Issues
    Defining the Learning Issues of a Problem-Based Learning Course
    Approaches for Collection of Information
    Construction of Information
    6. Construction of Mechanisms and Flow Diagrams
    Backward versus Forward Mechanisms
    Uses of Mechanisms in Tutorial 1 and Tutorial 2
    Use of Mechanisms and Flow Diagrams in Assessment
    Keys for Successful Writing of Mechanisms
    7. Effective Use of Recourses
    Resources Used in Problem-Based Learning Courses
    Searching For Scientific Reviews
    Effective Use of Medical Dictionaries
    Effective Use of Textbooks
    Effective use of Online Resources and Computer-Aided Learning Programs
    8. Keys to Foster Your Study Skills
    Becoming Organized
    First Things First
    Discover the Power of Self-Motivation
    Enhance Your Concentration
    Monitor Your Progress
    Ask For Help When Needed
    Ask For Feedback
    Learn How to Manage Your Stress
    9. Portfolio and Reflective Journals
    What is a portfolio?
    Use of a Portfolio in a Problem-Based Learning
    Use of Reflective Journals to Foster Your Skills
    PART III Assessment in Problem-Based Learning
    10. Assessment Overview
    Aims of Assessment
    Formative versus Summative Assessment
    Tools Used in Assessment in Problem-Based Learning Courses
    11. Passing Examinations in a Problem-Based Learning
    Revision before Examinations
    Common Mistakes in the Way Students Answers Written Examinations
    Tips for Success
    PART IV Becoming a Medical/Health Professional Student: Keys for Success
    12. Success Is a Journey
    Success is Not a Destination
    Believing In Your Abilities to Succeed
    Turning Your Dreams into Reality
    13. Attitudes That Foster Your Success
    Get Rid of Your Pride
    Cultivate Constructive Discontent
    Escape from Habits
    Sow Seeds that Benefit Others
    14. Growth is a Change
    Concentrate on One Goal at a Time
    Concentrate on Continual Improvement
    Learn How to Deal With Stress

    APPENDIX A. Examples of a PBL Case
    APPENDIX B. Examples of Mechanisms
    APPENDIX C. Examples of PBL Questions


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