• Vol. 30 No. 4, 382–386
  • 15 July 2001

Problem-based Learning (PBL) as an Approach in the Teaching of Biochemistry of the Endocrine System at the Angeles University College of Medicine

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Biochemistry is a basic science subject introduced in the first year of the medical curriculum. At the Angeles University College of Medicine, the approach used in teaching biochemistry has always been the conventional lecture-based strategy. This study described the factors involved in the development of modules and the use of problem-based learning (PBL) as an innovative strategy in teaching the biochemistry of the endocrine system.

Materials and Methods: Four PBL modules consisting of clinical problems, student’s and facilitator’s guides and a list of learning objectives were developed and used by 68 first year medical students under the supervision of a tutor during small group tutorial sessions. A 5-point Likert scale questionnaire was employed to ascertain the perceptions of the students on the influences of the components of PBL on the learning process.

Results: The respondents affirmed that the PBL approach motivated them to actively control the direction of their learning needs and encouraged them to acquire self-learning skills. Ninety per cent of the students found the PBL approach to have inspired them to take charge of their own learning of the biochemistry of the endocrine system.

Conclusion: The study showed that the students found this alternative method acceptable particularly in motivating to clarify biochemical concepts that facilitated their understanding of selected endocrine problems.


The Angeles University College of Medicine (AUCOM) was established in 1983 with a curriculum that is conventionally teacher-centred. Biochemistry is a basic science subject introduced in the first year of the medical curriculum.

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