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Portraits of PBL: Course objectives and students' study strategies in computer engineering, psychology and physiotherapy
Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5066-8728
2000 (English)In: Instructional science, ISSN 0020-4277, Vol. 28, no 4, 309-329 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The central theme of the investigation concerns the role of course objectives in relation to students' study strategies in problem-based learning (PBL). The results comprise data from three different PBL programmes at Link÷pings Universitet, a Bachelor's programme in physiotherapy, a Master's programme in psychology, and a Master's programme in Computer Engineering, respectively. In all three programmes, the faculty provides course objectives with the intention that these should function as a supportive structure and guide for the students' independent studies. The results show that the objectives were used differently in the different programmes, as an integrated tool in the learning process, as an administrative schedule or as a retroactive checklist, respectively. The students' use of the course objectives in the learning process varied according to how the objectives were formulated and conceived. The relationship between the format of objectives provided by the faculty and how students deal with them in the learning process could also denote fragments of the different educational cultures within the three programmes and how the meaning of problem-based learning is interpreted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 28, no 4, 309-329 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-39166DOI: 10.1023/A:1003961222303Local ID: 47028OAI: diva2:260015
The original publication is available at Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren, Portraits of PBL: Course objectives and students' study strategies in computer engineering, psychology and physiotherapy, 2000, Instructional science, (28), 4, 309-329. Copyright: Springer Science Business Media Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-09-03
In thesis
1. Portraits of PBL: A cross-faculty comparison of student's experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Portraits of PBL: A cross-faculty comparison of student's experiences
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of the present investigation were to describe and analyse aspects of students' experiences of PBL within three different academic contexts, computer engineering, psychology and physiotherapy. The idea of PBL as an educational approach comprises certain key features that are described in the literature as general and important for student learning. On the part of the student, learning in context and social interaction is highly emphasised together with the importance of developing metacognitive skills. There are however, co-existing descriptions in the literature of what constitutes PBL and what the theoretical evidence for the educational approach is.

The point of departure for the study was that the ways of adopting PBL may look different from the taken-for-granted perspectives of knowledge embedded in the scientific disciplines and their professionai practices. A sociocultural perspective was outlined as a point of departure for this standpoint. The sociocultural perspective of learning, thinking and action focuses on how individuals and groups acquire physical and cognitive resources and the interplay between the collective and the individual level. In this investigation, the interplay between a global and local level is studied by focusing on the ways PBL are implemented from the students' perspective.

Altogether 58 students participated in the study; 20 physiotherapy, 20 psychology and 18 engineering students. Semi-structured interviews, which were tape-recorded and later transcribed, were used as the method of data collection. Data were analysed qualitatively. The physiotherapy students were interviewed in 1993 and the psychology and information technology students in 1997. The results showed that there were differences between how problem-based learning is realised and understood by the students in the three programmes. These differences are described and discussed in relation to the perspectives of knowledge and learning embedded in the programmes that are reflected through the students' experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2001. 55 p.
Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology, ISSN 1102-7517 ; 80
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-23114 (URN)LiU-IBV-STU--80--SE (Local ID)91-7373-065-3 (ISBN)LiU-IBV-STU--80--SE (Archive number)LiU-IBV-STU--80--SE (OAI)
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Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-09-03

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