Motivating Factors and Effectiveness of Problem-based Learning in Dental Education

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Mahyunah Masud
Dr Norhasnida Nordin
Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abu Hassan


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a learning approach that involves the use of interdisciplinary problems to trigger learning.    The process of PBL encouraged students to be familiar with methods of search for knowledge creating new sets of learning needs which may not have been covered in the traditional teaching and learning (T&L). The result of review on available researches that compares PBL with traditional methods of medical education showed the superiority of PBL approach. However, in another critical review of published articles on PBL revealed no convincing evidence that it improves knowledge acquisition and clinical performance over traditional methods of T&L. Thus this study was carried to assess motivating factors in PBL and its effectiveness in creating student centred learning for clinical dental undergraduates. PBL triggers were introduced during the first of the three, two hours sessions for ninety one clinical students of year 3, 4 and 5 of the Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. Sixteen questions were given to students during the third session and motivating factors and effectiveness of PBL were analysed. The results showed that majority of students perceived solving problems together was interesting and stimulate learning. Sharing of new information broaden their learning approach, critical thinking, creativity and communication skills. PBL is effective in internalising deep learning approach for dental undergraduates and encourage them towards active, interesting team participation in knowledge gain.  PBL  also motivated  students  to  seek  scientific  knowledge  independently  towards  achieving  the  desired learning outcomes. Knowledgeable, constructive and dedicated facilitators made the T&L experience interesting, stimulating and interactive for the students.


Keywords: PBL, Motivating Factors, Effective SCL (Student-centred learning)



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Masud, M., Nordin, D. N., & Abu Hassan, P. D. M. I. (2018). Motivating Factors and Effectiveness of Problem-based Learning in Dental Education. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 6(10), 314-323.


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