Problem-based learning--a cautious approach
Most medical schools in Canada have, over the last few years, introduced Problem Based Learning (PBL) into their undergraduate curricula. In contrast to some other schools which have radically transformed their entire curricula, the University of Western Ontario approach has been more cautious, setting aside 20 per cent of the time during the first two years of the curriculum to PBL, more traditional, didactic methods being used otherwise. The main challenges have been to integrate the underlying values of the two different approaches to teaching and learning to develop valid and reliable examination and evaluation procedures, and to sustain the enthusiasm and interest of a large, mostly voluntary, group of faculty members, continually improving their skills as tutors. The most beneficial results of this curricular change have been an increased interest in medical education reform in general, and an increased recognition of the importance of teaching in relation to appointments and promotions. Students have appreciated the break from a never ending stream of lectures, and many have welcomed the challenged to explore in depth areas of special interest.
Ostbye, T; Robinson, M; Weston, WW
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