Problem-based learning and task-based learning: A practical synthesis

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The author of this article attended the International PBL Workshop in Kaohsiung Medical University in 2007 as an international tutor. Based on his personal experiences in the workshop and at his own medical school, he finds there are frequent problems in PBL programs related to the difficulty in providing expert tutors. Students in PBL tutorials may fear they are unable to get sufficient guidance from tutors in terms of learning the issues they should research; moreover, PBL case writers fear their cases are less effective, because non-expert tutors may misdirect students in the step 1 tutorial discussion. The author proposes that combining standard problem-based learning (PBL) methods with elements of task-based learning (TBL) can be effective at addressing both of these problems. The TBL method he proposes involves providing students with an additional sheet at the end of PBL tutorials. This sheet is written by the case writer and details key learning issues, questions and perspectives the students should investigate during their research process. This reduces the need to have expert tutors who know the full range of facts about the case, and leaves students feeling supported and less concerned they will miss important learning issues. © 2008 Elsevier. All rights reserved.




Takahashi, Y. (2008). Problem-based learning and task-based learning: A practical synthesis. In Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences (Vol. 24). Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

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