Conducting the symphony: a qualitative study of facilitation in problem-based learning tutorials

Papinczak, T, Tunny, T and Young, L (2009) Conducting the symphony: a qualitative study of facilitation in problem-based learning tutorials. Medical Education, 43 4: 377-383. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03293.x

Author Papinczak, T
Tunny, T
Young, L
Title Conducting the symphony: a qualitative study of facilitation in problem-based learning tutorials
Journal name Medical Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-0110
Publication date 2009-03
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03293.x
Volume 43
Issue 4
Start page 377
End page 383
Total pages 7
Editor Kevin W Eva
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Abstract Context Tutors in problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials have a complex role to play in facilitating students' learning. This includes providing support for students' acquisition of content knowledge and skills in critical thinking, coaching of group processes and modelling of reflective practice. Few studies which investigate the key role of tutors in the PBL tutorial process are qualitative in design. Methods This study explores the nature and technique of facilitation provided by PBL tutors from the students' viewpoint. Data were obtained from written responses to an open-ended question asking students about the effectiveness of their PBL tutor(s) and from in-depth interviews carried out with two randomly selected students. Results Three main themes arose from the inductive analysis of qualitative data: (i) role confusion by tutors; (ii) tutor management of sensitive issues, and (iii) facilitation 'style'. The theme of tutors' facilitation style was dominant and three sub-categories were apparent. These were: (i) managing the learning in PBL tutorials; (ii) facilitating group processes, and (iii) guiding group discussion. Conclusions Findings highlight the need for tutors to regularly review the PBL tutorial processes and group dynamics within the tutorial setting. These findings have implications for tutor training and programmes of ongoing professional development for PBL facilitators.
Keyword Undergraduate Medical Curriculum
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:28:41 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Medicine