• Vol. 35 No. 9, 624–633
  • 15 September 2006

An Online Evaluation of Problem-based Learning (PBL) in Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan – A Pilot Study



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Introduction: Problem-based learning (PBL) embraces principles of good learning and teaching. It is student-directed, fosters intrinsic motivation, promotes active learning, encourages peer teaching, involves timely feedback, and can support student self and peer assessment. The most important function of the assessment process is to enhance student learning, to improve the curriculum and to improve teaching.

Materials and Methods: To improve the PBL tutorial in Chung Shan Medical University, we developed an online evaluation system containing the evaluation forms for students, tutor, self and peer. The Cronbach α reliability coefficients were 0.9480, 0.9103, and 0.9198 for the Student, Tutor and Self and Peer Evaluation Form, respectively. The online evaluations were mandatory to both students and tutors, and the information was completely anonymous.

Results and Conclusions: The survey response rates of the online evaluations ranged from 95.6% to 100%. The online evaluations provided a documented feedback to the students on their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Correspondingly, tutors too received feedback from students in evaluating their performance on the appropriateness and effectiveness of tutoring the group. Although there was an initial lack of coordination regarding responsibilities and how to use the online system for both students and the Faculty, the system enabled us to look into how effective our PBL course had been, and it provided both process and outcome evaluations. Our strategy for evaluating the success of PBL is only at its initial stage; we are in an ongoing process of collecting outcome data for further analysis which will hopefully provide more constructive information to the PBL curricula.

The goal of problem-based learning (PBL) is to motivate students to develop self-learning skills in a small group. PBL embraces principles of good learning and teaching.

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