Problem Based Learning –An Alternative Pedagogic Approach

International Journal of Research in Health Sciences,2014,2,2,610-613.
Published:April 2014
Type:Original Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Gargi Sen1, Dipnarayan Sarkar2, Subhendu choudhury3, Jhuma Biswas,2 Pradip Kumar Saha4

1Assistant professor, dept of Biochemistry, BIN.

2Assistant professor, dept of gynaecology, IPGME&R/SSKM, West Bengal, INDIA.

3RMO cum Clinical tutor, dept of gynaecology, IPGME&R/SSKM, West Bengal, INDIA.

4Assistant professor dept of gynaecology, Mednapur Medical College, West Bengal, INDIA.


Background: Problem-based learning curricula have been introduced in many medical schools around the world. This approach to teaching brings prior knowledge into play more rapidly and ends up fostering learning that adapts to new situations and related domains as quickly [1,2]. However, their adoption was met with some concern, primarily because of the substantial manpower and money involved [3]. Given the limited resources available, evidence-based evaluations of the effects of problem-based learning on improving physician competency strengthens any justification for the adoption of such programs [4, 5-9]. Method: The I MBBS students of 2011-2012 Batch who had enrolled in RG KAR Medical College and Hospital were subjects. The class was divided into groups of approximately five students each. The groups' membership remained constant throughout the term. The section on Vitamins was divided into two sections with one section being taught by traditional method and the other by Problem-based learning. A total of one hundred fifty students were assessed in six days. At the end of the term, assessment of students was done by multiple choice questions and student’s response towards traditional method versus Problem-based learning was gauged. Results: Out of 150 students, 90 students participated in the PBL exercise. 72 students voted for PBL, 10 were against and 8 were neutral. Students’ performances in the multiple choice question tests when taught by PBL were marginally better in comparison to traditional method. Conclusion: In Problem-based learning students learn to be self directed, independent and interdependent learners motivated to solve a problem. Problem-based learning during medical school has positive effects on physician competencies, especially in the social and cognitive dimensions.

Problem based learning –an alternative pedagogic approach