This volume collects recent studies conducted within the area of medical education that investigate two of the critical components of problem-based curricula--the group meeting and self-directed learning--and demonstrates that understanding these complex phenomena is critical to the operation of this innovative curriculum. It is the editors' contention that it is these components of problem-based learning that connect the initiating "problem" with the process of effective "learning." Revealing how this occurs is the task taken on by researchers contributing to this volume. The studies include use of self-reports, interviews, observations, verbal protocols, and micro-analysis to find ways into the psychological processes and sociological contexts that constitute the world of problem-based learning.
"[The editors] provide a nice summary of the research on outcomes of PBL curricula….every chapter is worthy of an eventual read. It is a notable contribution to our growing understanding of this powerful, yet puzzling, innovation that is sweeping across medical education."
—Teaching and Learning in Medicine
"…the methodological procedures devised, the analysis of the problematic issues carried out, the theoretical models elaborated, and the research agendas proposed in the book should give promising suggestions for a productive application of PBL in different fields of instruction."
—British Journal of Psychology
"This volume occupies a unique niche in the literature on problem-based learning (PBL)….Conspicuous in its absence from this literature is a scholarly treatise which does justice to the theoretical underpinnings of PBL and the growing body of empirical evidence of effectiveness (or its absence). Against this backdrop, this book is a welcome counterpoint, providing a high level of scholarship in guiding the reader to an understanding of both the theoretical background and the empirical evidence."
"The information in this book should be very helpful to anyone designing…or responsible for maintaining and improving a problem-based learning curriculum."
Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine, From the Foreword
Contents: H. Barrows, Foreword. Preface. C.E. Hmelo, D.H. Evensen, Introduction. Part I:The Group Meeting. H.G. Schmidt, J.H.C. Moust, Factors Affecting Small-Group Tutorial Learning: A Review of Research. T. Koschmann, P. Glenn, M. Conlee, When Is a Problem-Based Tutorial Not a Tutorial? Analyzing the Tutor's Role in the Emergence of a Learning Issue. J.E. Duek, Whose Group Is It, Anyway? Equity of Student Discourse in Problem-Based Learning (PBL). J. Faidley, D.H. Evensen, J. Salisbury-Glennon, J. Glenn, C.E. Hmelo, How Are We Doing? Methods of Assessing Group Processing in a Problem-Based Learning Context. T. Koschmann, D.H. Evensen, Five Readings of a Single Text: Transcript of a Videoanalysis Session. A.C. Meyers Kelson, L.H. Distlehorst, Groups in Problem-Based Learning (PBL): Essential Elements in Theory and Practice. C. Bereiter, M. Scardamalia, Commentary on Part I: Process and Product in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Research. Part II:Self-Directed Learning. P. Blumberg, Evaluating the Evidence That Problem-Based Learners Are Self-Directed Learners: A Review of the Literature. C.E. Hmelo, X. Lin, Becoming Self-Directed Learners: Strategy Development in Problem-Based Learning. D.H.J.M. Dolmans, H.G. Schmidt, What Directs Sef-Directed Learning in a Problem-Based Curriculum? D.H. Evensen, Observing Self-Directed Leraners in a Problem-Based Learning Context: Two Case Studies. B. Zimmerman, R.B. Lebeau, A Commentary on Self-Directed Learning. A.C. Myers Kelson, Epilogue: Assessment of Students for Proactive Life-Long Learning.