Problem-Based Learning

From website Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) offers you a different way of learning from traditional university education. You work in small tutorial groups, engage in hands-on training and attend (far) fewer lectures. Under the supervision of a tutor, you team up with ten to fifteen students to tackle real-life challenges. PBL is an active way of learning that gives you better retention of knowledge, enhances your motivation and encourages you to develop skills that are essential for the labour market in the 21st century. In short: PBL is all about you, your tutors are very approachable and you learn together in a dynamic way, helping form you into an assertive professional. 

So what are these ‘skills for life’? Research shows that PBL teaches you to:

  • really understand the subject matter, rather just learning by rote
  • collaborate with partners and small teams
  • think critically with a view to solving problems
  • study and work independently
  • feel comfortable with public speaking

See also:

How theory and design based research can mature PBL practice and research. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 1-13

Dolmans, D.H.J.M. (2019). (link) 1-13

McMaster at 50: lessons learned from five decades of PBL

Neville, A., Norman, G., & White, R. (2019). Advances in Health Sciences Education (link) 1-11

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