Instructional Science

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 309–329 | Cite as

Portraits of PBL: Course objectives and students' study strategies in computer engineering, psychology and physiotherapy

  • Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren


The central theme of the investigation concerns therole of course objectives in relation to students'study strategies in problem-based learning (PBL). Theresults comprise data from three different PBLprogrammes at Linköpings Universitet; a Bachelor'sprogramme in physiotherapy, a Master's programme inpsychology, and a Master's programme in ComputerEngineering, respectively. In all three programmes,the faculty provides course objectives with theintention that these should function as a supportivestructure and guide for the students' independentstudies. The results show that the objectives wereused differently in the different programmes; as anintegrated tool in the learning process, as anadministrative schedule or as aretroactive checklist, respectively. Thestudents' use of the course objectives in the learningprocess varied according to how the objectives wereformulated and conceived. The relationship between theformat of objectives provided by the faculty and howstudents deal with them in the learning process couldalso denote fragments of the different educationalcultures within the three programmes and how themeaning of problem-based learning is interpreted.

problem-based learning comparative study students' perspective course objectives learning process qualitative analysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesLinköpings UniversitetLinköpingSweden

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