Facing the increasing importance of interdisciplinary skills in both university and professional contexts, supporting didactic concepts must be identified, installed and evaluated. Therefore, we introduced in 2011 first problem-based learning (PBL) sets in the course "Introduction to Medicine for Nature Scientists and Engineers". Comprising seven steps of a structured problem solving process, necessary skills like teamwork, self-organization, time management and assignment of responsibility are being developed further [1, 2]. However, practice shows that a major part of the participating students lack of basic skills like planning, communication or assignment of tasks. Learners’ deep understanding PBL requires self-reflection on one’s own behavior and learning. Making aware that underlying planning processes are determining factors can facilitate self-reflection during the process of problem solving. Hence, the PBL courses were extended to cover instructions and exercises on planning expertise
The study used an intervention (81 students) and control (43 students) group design. To PBL case (2 × 2 hours) courses on planning structure (2 hours) and teamwork (1.5 hours) were added. These courses were framed by two planning games ("Tour-Planer" and "Routen-Planer" ), by which students were stimulated to additionally reflect their own behavior . After PBL course, both participating students and supervising tutors were asked to evaluate team performance and team coordination processes.
Planning skills were enhanced after the training sessions. The intervention group’s self-evaluation revealed an enhanced recognition of the own planning competences, which mirrors the tutors’ evaluation results of the respective teams. The follow-up survey showed a high level of acceptance and that students appreciated the interventions.
The study gives plain hints that through raising the awareness of planning competences, PBL enhances the level of reaching the learning aims and thus is a very promising concept. Self-reflection of the students’ behavior during these interventions supports them in their future businesses of problem-solving and team interaction.
There was no research grant support.
Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest. Material and Methods: Informed consent: Informed consent has been obtained from all individuals included in this study. Ethical approval: The research related to human use has been complied with all the relevant national regulations, institutional policies and in accordance the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the authors’ institutional review board or equivalent committee.
Barell, JF. Problem-Based Learning: An Inquiry Approach. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: Corwin 2006 Google Scholar
Savery, JR. Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning 2006; 1; 9-20. Google Scholar
Arling, V. Entwicklung und Validierung eines Verfahrens zur Erfassung von Planungskompetenz in der beruflichen Rehabilitation: Der „Tour-Planer“. Berlin: logos 2006. Google Scholar
Arling, V, Spijkers, W. Konzeption und Erprobung eines Konzepts zum Training von Planungskompetenz im Kontext der beruflichen Rehabilitation. bwp@ Spezial 6–Hochschultage Berufliche Bildung 2013, Fachtagung 05. Google Scholar