Designing groups in problem-based learning to promote problem-solving skill and self-directedness
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The effect of group size in problem-based learning(PBL) on the problem-solving skill, self-directedness,and technical knowledge of 72 students in a dentaleducation program was examined. Pretest measures onself-directedness and technical knowledge wereadministered to the 72 students. Equal numbers ofstudents with low, medium, and high levels ofself-directedness were randomly assigned to small,medium, and large PBL groups. Students thenparticipated in a three-week PBL experience, whichinvolved analyzing a patient case. After PBL wascompleted, posttest measures on self-directedness,technical knowledge, and problem-solving skill wereassessed. Students' reactions to the PBL experiencewere also measured. Analysis of the data found thatthe development of self-directedness varied with groupsize. Students' self-directedness increased in smalland medium size groups, but decreased in large groups. A significant difference was found between the mediumand large groups on this measure. Furthermore,students in small groups rated 5 of 12 aspects of PBLsignificantly higher than did those in large groups,and students in medium size groups rated 10 of 12aspects of PBL significantly higher than did those inlarge groups. Implications of these findings forinstructional design theory, practice, and researchare discussed.
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- Designing groups in problem-based learning to promote problem-solving skill and self-directedness
Volume 28, Issue 4 , pp 291-307
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- problem-based learning
- group size
- problem-solving skill
- professional education