Author(s): Abdelkhalek N, Hussein A, Gibbs T, Hamdy H
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The original concept of problem-based learning (PBL) was built upon an acceptance that its participants would be of a more mature age, and with personal and potential qualities that would equip them for problem solving as part of their learning process. However, despite global acceptance for the use of PBL in medical and health sciences education, and knowledge of the diverse background of students about to embark upon PBL, structured programs preparing medical students for such an educational activity are not common. AIM: The primary aim of this study is to describe the experience in adopting and adapting an educational approach analogous to PBL, team-based learning (TBL), in preparing medical students to later study in a PBL environment and secondarily, to measure the students' reaction to this experience. METHODS: At the University of Sharjah, 363 students were enrolled over four semesters in the 'Introduction to Medical Sciences Education (IMSE)' course. They were divided into groups of 25-27 students per class, where their learning was facilitated through a TBL approach. The course was evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively and appropriate statistical analysis was applied to their responses. RESULTS: Out of 363 students, 304 (84\%) responded to a 28-item closed-ended questionnaire. Their mean scores and consensus measurements indicated a high degree of students' satisfaction. Eighty-two students (65\%) responded to the open-ended questions providing 139 comments. Content analysis of the responses supported the quantitative results. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated a high degree of students' satisfaction from the course in acquiring skills preparing them for future PBL. Although this represents an evaluation of the TBL effects upon the early exposures to PBL, TBL was considered to be a feasible, efficient and cost-effective educational approach in preparing the students for their new educational experience.
This article was published in Med Teach
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care