It’s a concept which is relatively new in comparison to others, yet problem-based learning is slowly making movements into the mainstream education sector.
While it may have firstly been developed for education within the medical industry, now its use is much more widespread. This has caused all sorts of research to be conducted on the subject, with a paper by Christopher Manente one such example.
In short, there are lots of opinions regarding the effectiveness of PBL, whilst there are also many studies which take a more formal approach of analyzing just how it works. We’re not here to discuss any of that today – but rather just look at how it is being implemented into the modern-world. We’ll now take a look at how PBL has crossed the line into education and is now being considered by more facilities around the world.
We’ll start with the area where PBL really began. This is one area in which PBL has been subjected to intense research, with a decade of data from the University of Missouri School of Medicine proving that a student’s competency can be benefited as they graduate if they use problem-based learning as a technique.
It’s therefore not surprising to see that PBL has made its way into plenty of establishments of this ilk, with Monash University, Maastricht University and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine being just several examples.
There are even some examples of universities taking a curriculum that’s 100% case based off the back of PBL. An example of this is the University of California, which adopts such an approach in their Master of Science/Medical Doctorate Program.
While PBL may have been quite prominent in medical teaching facilities, there are other establishments which are utilizing the standard as well. For example, if we turn to Parramatta Marist High School in Australia, they opted to incorporate some methods of PBL in some classes for students in year 9 and 10 which showed that it can be used for younger students as well.
Elsewhere, over at Sir John Deane’s College in England, it was decided that an extracurricular course based on PBL principles would be offered. The course was designed for those who were already studying Biology and Chemistry at the establishment and were looking to turn to medicine in the future.
The case of Malaysia
One of the more recent implementations of problem-based learning has occurred in Malaysia. The country is attempting to promote a form of PBL in secondary mathematics, with the aim being that it should allow citizens of the country to develop better decision-making skills in the future.
On the back of this, several universities started to follow suit. For example, University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia collaborated with Aalborg University to introduce the model and has now become a regularly used method in various subjects at the establishment. Universiti Malaya is another university to utilize the concept and has implemented it within several medicine-related courses, which again shows how much the model has expanded.