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Problem-based learning: medical students’ perception toward their educational environment at Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University

Authors Aldayel AA, Alali AO, Altuwaim AA, Alhussain HA, Aljasser KA, Bin Abdulrahman KA, Alamri MO, Almutairi TA

Received 28 September 2018

Accepted for publication 23 January 2019

Published 26 February 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 95—104


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Aldayel, Abdulrahman Omar Alali, Ahmed Abdullah Altuwaim, Hamad Abdulaziz Alhussain, Khalid Ahmed Aljasser, Khalid A Bin Abdulrahman, Majed Obaid Alamri, Talal Ayidh Almutairi

College of Medicine, Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered innovating instructional approach in which students define their learning objectives by using triggers from the problem case or scenario.
Objectives: To assess undergraduate medical students’ perception toward PBL sessions and to compare their perceptions among different sex and grade point average (GPA) in the college of medicine, Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study based on a self-administered anonymous online questionnaire during the first semester of the 2017–2018 academic year in IMSIU. The data were collected from male and female students of the second and third year, as well as male students of the fourth year.
Results: Out of 259 students, 152 (58.7%) completed the questionnaire. The students’ perception toward PBL was more positive than negative. Most of the students reported that PBL sessions increased their knowledge of basic sciences (P=0.03). Furthermore, most students agreed that PBL provided a better integration between basic and clinical sciences which differed significantly between the different GPA groups (P=0.02). Nevertheless, only 28.3% of the students agreed that the teaching staff is well prepared to run the sessions with significant statistical difference among different GPA groups (P=0.02). Moreover, only 26.3% of the students reported that there was proper student training before starting the PBL sessions with no significant difference. Additionally, only 34.2% and 28.9% of the students felt that they learn better and gain more knowledge thorough PBL than lectures respectively, with no significant difference.
Conclusion: This study showed that tutors should be trained to guide the process of PBL effectively to achieve its goals. Moreover, students should be securely introduced to PBL and experience the development of their clinical reasoning through PBL. Further improvements are needed to provide students with an effective favorable learning environment and to take the students recommendations into consideration.

Keywords: medical students, problem-based learning, education, perception, curriculum

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