The future of research in problem-based learning

Richardson, John T. E. (2006). The future of research in problem-based learning. In: Crabtree, H.; Darvill, A.; Holland, K.; MacKay, S.; McLoughlin, M.; Oakley, D. and Supyk, J. eds. Problem-based Learning 2004: A Quality Experience? Salford, UK: University of Salford, pp. 41–59.



There is research evidence to suggest that the introduction of problem-based learning (PBL) can enhance students’ approaches to studying, their perceptions of the quality of their courses, their conceptions of learning and their academic attainment. Nevertheless, it seems to presuppose more sophisticated conceptions of learning on the part of the students and more student-centred conceptions of teaching on the part of their teachers. Future research needs to examine whether PBL can promote the development of students’ conceptions of learning, whether students with a reproductive conception of learning and teachers with a teacher-centred conception of teaching have difficulty adapting to problem-based curricula, and which are the key characteristics determining the effectiveness of problem-based curricula.

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