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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    But the learning objectives set are guided surely? They are here. Most groups come out with relatively similar sets of questions. I do most of my learning during the week when I'm doing the work for PBL. Not when I'm in the PBL sessions, and I suspect it's similar across the board.

    Doesn't matter if they are guided are not. The fact still remains if they are consolidation sessions, there shouldn't be a need to set tasks, go home, do 'homework' and debrief. They should be renamed 'review sessions if that was the case.

    And as for being guided, the problem comes in the said debrief sessions, when everyone is throwing their homework around and there can problems. Firstly, from wrong facts that are 'peer taught' and not picked up on by the lay tutor and secondly when a disagreement comes up regarding to points. All the tutor has to rely on if it is not his field is the tutor notes, which are not comprehensive. So it goes back to my initial problem. The tutor doesn't know, the students don't know and you walk out more confused than when you came in. There is so much time wasting in PBL it is ridiculous. Choosing a 'chairperson', 'brainstorming' with the obligatory whiteboard, doing the ten steps to sobriety and medical school success before being let out of the room...the standard awkward silence at the beginning of a debrief before someone reads the wiki article or cheese and onion under the table and everyone nods sagely...total waste of time.


    And at Barts, PBLs topics make up a massive part of preclinical assessments, including ICAs and MBBS Part examination components. On things that have not been taught in lectures.


    But you're not supposed to be taught by your peers. You're supposed to have grasped much of it by yourself. PBL in that sense is to clear up any problems you've had with the week's learning.Well, that would depend on your course structure and the emphasis that PBL has in it.
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    get my osce results tomorrow, very strange getting them the same day as a-level results!
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    (Original post by digitalis)
    If PBL was for consolidation only, there would be no need for setting 'learning objectives' and debriefing at the next session.

    Your last quote doesn't make sense. Delivery of information is not learning, agreed, but facilitation of learning through explanation and expansion. The learning comes after you gain an understanding of it.

    Reading a textbook by yourself and trying to understand it, then being 'taught' by your peers who are at the same level of you sounds like some collective group therapy in alcoholics anonymous. Again, blind leading the lame.
    ~80% of the Learning objectives set, are covered by other parts of the course. So to the most degree, it is more about consolidation and solidification.

    Which part? What i meant to say, is just because the information is delivered to you and explained to you it does not mean that you wont need to put in X amount of hours to actually understand and learn it anyway.
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    Hmmm, just my two pence really (mainly about the BL preclin course).

    PBL is dodgy sometimes. Yes. I've had crappy tutors; I've also had brilliant tutors. I agree with some points Digi has mentioned:
    • Yes, it can work so much more efficiently if we didn't have the whole chairperson allocation, brainstorming, grouping/numbering issues etc. but then again, getting rid of that would defy the whole 'pbl process', whatever that means. PBL write up's are also pointless but that has been now scrapped for an essay or something for the new second years.
    • I also agree that you sometimes end up memorising things very superficially for the debrief sessions so you don't look like a lazy sod in front of everyone. My sessions have been 'closed book' since FunMed in year one, so I haven't really had someone read (tutor) notes on their lap during the session for a while (we do that as we climb the stairs into the room and put them away once we enter the room :ninja:).
    • Some tutors just have no idea what they are talking about


    That’s true, yes.

    But it works for me, and this is why:
    • I'm not sure how things were in the past at BL but on the Curriculum 08 course, there is much more time allocated to lectures - we have more contact time than there was in the past. Now what this means is that you essentially consolidate what you have been taught in lectures in the pbl sessions - at times it works the other way round and you have the pbl session first - but the point is things are covered again in some respect later.
    • We have whole year debrief sessions (as in the whole year sitting in the Perrin with a module lead going through the pbl again) even after the debrief sessions for some modules to level out the discrepancy between groups if that does exist.
    • You never go into a pbl session to 'learn' about a disease from your peers - there's no splitting of objectives between the group and no presenting your work to your peers like at other places - I can only think of one major pbl topic that wasn't covered later in a lecture in second year and that was AF (which tbh isn't that difficult to grasp anyway). Everything else was covered again, normally in a lecture. This is the time wasting bit I don't like, but at least the medical school understand we still need lectures to support our learning - thats got to be a good thing on their part, right.
    • The learning objectives brought up in the sessions basically just say " This is a warning: you will cover this either in this pbl and again in some other teaching form so make sure you understand this because it may be assessed" but tbh, no one ever does the ones they don't need to do (especially the psychosocial issues you can always blag in the session). It also works especially well on the spiral curriculum where we revisit systems from year one again because you end up "reviewing the anatomy of the [insert whatever organ]" which you would have covered already in year one, again in year two, because it is related to a pbl. If we didn't have to do that, I would have forgotten so much from year one.
    • We have ICAs once a term or so based around pbls and lectures and that’s good - failing them basically tells you you’re not putting in enough effort to pass the year comfortably. Of course people fail every ICA and still do alright in end of year exams, but that is quite rare.


    Of course if you focussed only on pbls and nothing else the way they are here, there will be gaps in your knowledge because you won't be sure if you have covered everything (and probably wouldn't have). The supplementary lectures etc. try to narrow these gaps - that’s why we have these lecture objectives given to us too. I'm usually one to 'defend' the course here at BL (which I suppose the majority of this post has done anyway), but yes I will quite confidently agree that there are gaps in our course (I think there's a lot of emphasis put into communication skills which perhaps doesn't require that much time so early on in the course IMO etc.). That said, I don't think one can attribute these gaps to pbl though - surely that’s just up to the individual and how much they are willing to learn and to what detail - some people go the extra few miles with pbls and do some primary research etc. for the debrief sessions and they certainly have fewer gaps in their knowledge compared to me because I cba. You learn what you need to learn to pass your med school exams wherever you go - it’s pretty much down to your work ethic really and choosing what you think you should learn/what lectures to not bother reading through/how much detail to go into for a pbl etc. to pass the exams and close these gaps. The superficial cramming for a pbl debrief session if you don't do it properly (which might be one of a myriad of causes for these apparent gaps) is exactly the same as the cramming you would do for an exam on a predominately lecture based course if you didn't do the work throughout the year.

    Therefore, IMO these gaps are down to:
    • the individuals work ethic
    • and the content covered as part of the course (not necessarily the style of teaching).


    My major problem with pbl is the effort required to actually do them, but I would say that since I have major cba moments throughout the year! :p: Tbh, going to one or two lectures that week and making half decent notes should do the work for you anyway. :p: Having said that, for people who like to have things repeated to them more than once for it to stick in or for people who require a bit more time for information to stick in, pbls would work perfectly for them!

    Who knows, maybe I'll come back here in a few years and take back everything I've mentioned in this post that is pro-pbl! :ninja:
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    (Original post by digitalis)
    Doesn't matter if they are guided are not. The fact still remains if they are consolidation sessions, there shouldn't be a need to set tasks, go home, do 'homework' and debrief. They should be renamed 'review sessions if that was the case.

    And as for being guided, the problem comes in the said debrief sessions, when everyone is throwing their homework around and there can problems. Firstly, from wrong facts that are 'peer taught' and not picked up on by the lay tutor and secondly when a disagreement comes up regarding to points. All the tutor has to rely on if it is not his field is the tutor notes, which are not comprehensive. So it goes back to my initial problem. The tutor doesn't know, the students don't know and you walk out more confused than when you came in. There is so much time wasting in PBL it is ridiculous. Choosing a 'chairperson', 'brainstorming' with the obligatory whiteboard, doing the ten steps to sobriety and medical school success before being let out of the room...the standard awkward silence at the beginning of a debrief before someone reads the wiki article or cheese and onion under the table and everyone nods sagely...total waste of time.

    A lot of our tutors are medically or bio medically trained, so do know the answers when disparity occurs. and All 2nd year PBL sessions are with qualified doctors. Also our 1st PBL session occurs at the start of the case unit, and the first review is not until a week later, so in between that time we have 14 taught hours which cover the seer majority of the learning objectives set. All the groups essentially come out with a very very similar set of learning objectives, just slightly different structure or wording.


    And at Barts, PBLs topics make up a massive part of preclinical assessments, including ICAs and MBBS Part examination components. On things that have not been taught in lectures.

    Pre-Clinical assessments for us are based mostly around topics covered in our Medical Imaging and Physiology sessions as well as, in clinical skills and lectures. Only a small amount is PBL only.
    ........
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    (Original post by Medicine Man)
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    Hmmm, just my two pence really (mainly about the BL preclin course).

    PBL is dodgy sometimes. Yes. I've had crappy tutors; I've also had brilliant tutors. I agree with some points Digi has mentioned:
    • Yes, it can work so much more efficiently if we didn't have the whole chairperson allocation, brainstorming, grouping/numbering issues etc. but then again, getting rid of that would defy the whole 'pbl process', whatever that means. PBL write up's are also pointless but that has been now scrapped for an essay or something for the new second years.
    • I also agree that you sometimes end up memorising things very superficially for the debrief sessions so you don't look like a lazy sod in front of everyone. My sessions have been 'closed book' since FunMed in year one, so I haven't really had someone read (tutor) notes on their lap during the session for a while (we do that as we climb the stairs into the room and put them away once we enter the room :ninja:).
    • Some tutors just have no idea what they are talking about


    That’s true, yes.

    But it works for me, and this is why:
    • I'm not sure how things were in the past at BL but on the Curriculum 08 course, there is much more time allocated to lectures - we have more contact time than there was in the past. Now what this means is that you essentially consolidate what you have been taught in lectures in the pbl sessions - at times it works the other way round and you have the pbl session first - but the point is things are covered again in some respect later.
    • We have whole year debrief sessions (as in the whole year sitting in the Perrin with a module lead going through the pbl again) even after the debrief sessions for some modules to level out the discrepancy between groups if that does exist.
    • You never go into a pbl session to 'learn' about a disease from your peers - there's no splitting of objectives between the group and no presenting your work to your peers like at other places - I can only think of one major pbl topic that wasn't covered later in a lecture in second year and that was AF (which tbh isn't that difficult to grasp anyway). Everything else was covered again, normally in a lecture. This is the time wasting bit I don't like, but at least the medical school understand we still need lectures to support our learning - thats got to be a good thing on their part, right.
    • The learning objectives brought up in the sessions basically just say " This is a warning: you will cover this either in this pbl and again in some other teaching form so make sure you understand this because it may be assessed" but tbh, no one ever does the ones they don't need to do (especially the psychosocial issues you can always blag in the session). It also works especially well on the spiral curriculum where we revisit systems from year one again because you end up "reviewing the anatomy of the [insert whatever organ]" which you would have covered already in year one, again in year two, because it is related to a pbl. If we didn't have to do that, I would have forgotten so much from year one.
    • We have ICAs once a term or so based around pbls and lectures and that’s good - failing them basically tells you you’re not putting in enough effort to pass the year comfortably. Of course people fail every ICA and still do alright in end of year exams, but that is quite rare.


    Of course if you focussed only on pbls and nothing else the way they are here, there will be gaps in your knowledge because you won't be sure if you have covered everything (and probably wouldn't have). The supplementary lectures etc. try to narrow these gaps - that’s why we have these lecture objectives given to us too. I'm usually one to 'defend' the course here at BL (which I suppose the majority of this post has done anyway), but yes I will quite confidently agree that there are gaps in our course (I think there's a lot of emphasis put into communication skills which perhaps doesn't require that much time so early on in the course IMO etc.). That said, I don't think one can attribute these gaps to pbl though - surely that’s just up to the individual and how much they are willing to learn and to what detail - some people go the extra few miles with pbls and do some primary research etc. for the debrief sessions and they certainly have fewer gaps in their knowledge compared to me because I cba. You learn what you need to learn to pass your med school exams wherever you go - it’s pretty much down to your work ethic really and choosing what you think you should learn/what lectures to not bother reading through/how much detail to go into for a pbl etc. to pass the exams and close these gaps. The superficial cramming for a pbl debrief session if you don't do it properly (which might be one of a myriad of causes for these apparent gaps) is exactly the same as the cramming you would do for an exam on a predominately lecture based course if you didn't do the work throughout the year.

    Therefore, IMO these gaps are down to:
    • the individuals work ethic
    • and the content covered as part of the course (not necessarily the style of teaching).


    My major problem with pbl is the effort required to actually do them, but I would say that since I have major cba moments throughout the year! :p: Tbh, going to one or two lectures that week and making half decent notes should do the work for you anyway. :p: Having said that, for people who like to have things repeated to them more than once for it to stick in or for people who require a bit more time for information to stick in, pbls would work perfectly for them!


    Who knows, maybe I'll come back here in a few years and take back everything I've mentioned in this post that is pro-pbl! :ninja:
    Our courses are so similar it scares me. If you just change the names of a few sessions/assessments we essentially have the same course structure.


    What is a PBL write up? We have never been (well with my facilitators anyway) allowed us to use notes.


    "the whole chairperson allocation, brainstorming, grouping/numbering issues etc" I dont really understand what issues?

    In your Whole year PBL recap sessions, are they set out in a quiz types setting with explanations of the answers/physiology and anatomy of the answers then a run through of all the things you are supposed to have learnt?
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    I despair of picking a chairperson. We are all adults, we don't need to pick a chairperson. We are all capable of answering questions. I always feel like a bully when I'm chairperson picking people to answer questions. If they don't want to talk, they don't talk. They know they will get marked down in the professionalism judgements if they don't talk. It's just awkward if I try and make them. Also, the only peer teaching we do in PBL is maybe if I've seen something relevent at my job at a GP's or in my previous life as a biomed student that would help the group understand something, or if it isn't something you can research. I quite like PBL, but that's because I work better independently and don't like lectures.
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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    I understand what you're saying here, but with such a small sample size you can't assert much. I reckon less than 30% of my year would've been able to understand that passage. I don't think that's a bad thing either: I wouldn't look down on my doctor for now knowing it in such detail.
    I totally agree, but if it were worded differently I think a greater number of students in both our years would have understood it. Explaining something complicated in simple language so a greater number of people understand it is an entirely different skill.


    As long as my doctor could explain it to me (and all their patients) in a way that could be understood regardless of level of education and have enough detailed knowledge to answer slightly more searching questions. I would say that is enough detail.
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    (Original post by ilovehotchocolate)
    I despair of picking a chairperson. We are all adults, we don't need to pick a chairperson. We are all capable of answering questions. I always feel like a bully when I'm chairperson picking people to answer questions. If they don't want to talk, they don't talk. They know they will get marked down in the professionalism judgements if they don't talk. It's just awkward if I try and make them. Also, the only peer teaching we do in PBL is maybe if I've seen something relevent at my job at a GP's or in my previous life as a biomed student that would help the group understand something, or if it isn't something you can research. I quite like PBL, but that's because I work better independently and don't like lectures.
    We just rotate chair person, and essentially the char person doesn't really matter. (I don't think iv been doing PBL correctly loool)

    I know what you mean about people being awkward in PBL, its so annoying.
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    Ah well, glad to hear you have got some improvements carcinoma re: teachers and examable material...and MedicineMan has seen some improvements since my day! Just goes to show how it all depends on the course...can't say I still like PBHell though
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    (Original post by carcinoma)
    As long as my doctor could explain it to me (and all their patients) in a way that could be understood regardless of level of education and have enough detailed knowledge to answer slightly more searching questions. I would say that is enough detail.
    I think sufficient detail to understand why pathology appears and why medications prescribed alleviate it is important. Additionally, to understand a lot of relevant research, a level of knowledge beyond what you're suggesting is often required.
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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    I think sufficient detail to understand why pathology appears and why medications prescribed alleviate it is important. Additionally, to understand a lot of relevant research, a level of knowledge beyond what you're suggesting is often required.
    This is what I meant, although didn't actually say haha. And you are absolutely right about needing a better understanding to understand research.
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    (Original post by digitalis)
    Ah well, glad to hear you have got some improvements carcinoma re: teachers and examable material...and MedicineMan has seen some improvements since my day! Just goes to show how it all depends on the course...can't say I still like PBHell though
    Tbh, I can't stand the effort they require either and how long the sessions are! I can count how many of them I actually did last year (including the frikkin write ups we had to do) after I realised just reading the lecture notes (or having a decent textbook(s)/wiki as your homepage/understanding a little bit about the cases) would suffice to pass the exams - that was my work ethic.


    (Original post by carcinoma)
    Our courses are so similar it scares me. If you just change the names of a few sessions/assessments we essentially have the same course structure.


    What is a PBL write up? We have never been (well with my facilitators anyway) allowed us to use notes.


    "the whole chairperson allocation, brainstorming, grouping/numbering issues etc" I dont really understand what issues?

    In your Whole year PBL recap sessions, are they set out in a quiz types setting with explanations of the answers/physiology and anatomy of the answers then a run through of all the things you are supposed to have learnt?
    It’s basically you writing up the case properly going through all the objectives and referencing it etc. It’s such a waste of time and is usually due in right before an ICA. They do not help you learn anything at all. Unnecessary work!

    Basically, some facilitators insist you follow the bloody 7 step process - they'll stop you, ask you to group things together, number your points etc. when sometimes this is soooo unnecessary and the objectives can literally be decided 5 minutes after reading the case. Some tutors let you get on with it and I really like that! And when it’s time to decide who should be chair/scribe - the scribe is a useful job as you can see what you have discussed, but I don't see the point of a chair (and people generally don't like going for the role). You don't pick on people to speak (at least I don't), you just let the discussion flow, and have the awesome job of filling up the awkward silences in the sessions!

    The whole year debrief sessions pretty much go through all the things you should have picked up from the pbl - it’s usually explained (not in great detail I should add as they do expect you to have covered it either in a lecture/pbl session already) and then you can ask questions at the end if you still had them. There's no quiz or whatever - that’s what the formative SAQs you get given at the end of the actual pbl group debrief are for.
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    (Original post by carcinoma)
    Our courses are so similar it scares me. If you just change the names of a few sessions/assessments we essentially have the same course structure.
    I think you could say that all the PBL schools have quite a similar course layout.
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    (Original post by ilovehotchocolate)
    I despair of picking a chairperson. We are all adults, we don't need to pick a chairperson. We are all capable of answering questions. I always feel like a bully when I'm chairperson picking people to answer questions.
    A chair IMO is useful when the student can competently lead the group,
    when you said about picking people to answer questions it doesn't remind me of the PBL feedback and discussion that I know, where you play by ear and people chip in where it is appropriate, and the chair occaisionally putting an idea/question to the group, basically an informal structure.
    What you describe sounds more structured, possibly daunting and may deter those who are shy from contributing, as they are put on the spot, maybe this is part of the chair's responsibility, to stimulate discussion with tact, in a way that doesn't repress it.
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    (Original post by Medicine Man)

    Basically, some facilitators insist you follow the bloody 7 step process - they'll stop you, ask you to group things together, number your points etc. when sometimes this is soooo unnecessary and the objectives can literally be decided 5 minutes after reading the case. Some tutors let you get on with it and I really like that! And when it’s time to decide who should be chair/scribe - the scribe is a useful job as you can see what you have discussed, but I don't see the point of a chair (and people generally don't like going for the role). You don't pick on people to speak (at least I don't), you just let the discussion flow, and have the awesome job of filling up the awkward silences in the sessions!
    I am so glad I didn't have to do PBL like that like I did at Keele *vigorous nod*. We would just waste so much time doing some steps when it didn't really help ad could be skipped. Though I guess here isn't true PBL as we get our objectives given to us :love: They did give us some bizarre stuff though sometimes. I actually prefer chairing to scribing as you don't have to work double speed trying to write up your notes and the ones on the whiteboard.
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    (Original post by Lantana)
    I am so glad I didn't have to do PBL like that like I did at Keele *vigorous nod*. We would just waste so much time doing some steps when it didn't really help ad could be skipped. Though I guess here isn't true PBL as we get our objectives given to us :love: They did give us some bizarre stuff though sometimes. I actually prefer chairing to scribing as you don't have to work double speed trying to write up your notes and the ones on the whiteboard.
    Here they make us make them up, then give them to us. (lol)
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    (Original post by carcinoma)
    Here they make us make them up, then give them to us. (lol)
    That's mean! Although we did used to play guess the topics at times.
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    (Original post by carcinoma)
    Here they make us make them up, then give them to us. (lol)
    Same. It undermines the process of generating them somewhat.
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    Ooh, fresh meat tomorrow. Is anyone else getting vicariously nervous (or is it just because I have a younger sister getting her A2 results)?
 
 
 
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