M. González-Alvarez, I. González-Alvarez, M. Bermejo

Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems. Students use “triggers” from the problem case or scenario to define their own learning objectives. Subsequently they do independent, self directed study before returning to the group to discuss and refine their acquired knowledge. The role of the instructor is that of facilitator of learning who provides appropriate scaffolding of that process by asking probing questions, providing appropriate resources, and leading class discussions, as well as designing student assessments. The process is clearly defined, and the several variations that exist all follow a similar series of steps.
Students are encouraged to take responsibilities, organize and direct the learning process with support from a tutor or instructor. This methodology can be used to enhance content knowledge while simultaneously fostering the development of communication, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skills. Working through a combination of learning strategies to discover the nature of a problem, understanding the constraints and options to its resolution, defining the input variables, and understanding the viewpoints involved, students learn to negotiate the complex sociological nature of the problem and how competing resolutions may inform decision-making.
Our docent team has tried to introduce this methodology in the context of our defined curriculum and the objective is the integration of different aspects of our degree. It is not easy to launch this docent approach. It has implications for staffing and learning resources and demands a different approach to timetabling, workload, and assessment. For this reason our team is only taking the first steps in this sense