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     Phase I Career Development Associates:
      The Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning in Promoting Evidence Based Practice (2000 - 2003)
Mr Mark Newman (Institute of Education, University of London)

This project has now completed.

Concise findings are available in two Research Briefings (No.1 and No.2) and in the Research Summary which has been extracted from a final report to ESRC.

More detailed Publications are also available, including a summarizing book in the Improving Learning series.

The Initial Project Summary is below. See also the Poster and Website created in the course of carrying out this work.

Initial Project Summary

This project examines the proposition that Problem Based Learning (PBL) will assist students to achieve specific competencies and should be the method of choice for professional education. It is argued that it is particularly suitable to support the conditions that influence adult learning. There is growing interest in using PBL for the education of healthcare professionals, and a number of institutions have adopted forms of PBL for pre-registration education of Doctors, nurses and midwives.

A systematic review of the effectiveness of PBL will be carried out using the methodology developed by the international Cochrane/ Campbell collaborations. Potential members of the review group have been identified from the nursing education community worldwide and a declaration of intention lodged with the Cochrane and Campbell collaborations. An electronic scoping exercise is under way with a view to submitting the review protocol by the end of 2000.

The empirical study will comprise of a simple two group randomized controlled trial of two under-graduate level post-registration nursing education programmes, using problem-based and current teaching methods. Outcome measures include changes in learning styles, student performance on assessment, and assessment of practice. The study will also assess student and teacher satisfaction, and describe the process of teaching/learning used in both the intervention and control groups.


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