A Student-Centered Approach to Learning…
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is the core of the 1st and 2nd year curriculum. Unlike traditional teaching methods that use a faculty-driven lecture format, PBL is student-centered and student-driven. PBL groups include eight medical students and one faculty facilitator whose role is to help ensure that students address the learning objectives of each week's PBL case.
How does it work?
Each week PBL groups receive a clinical case developed by CCLCM faculty. Each case is carefully crafted for students to identify basic science learning objectives that enable them to understand and work through the basic science concepts underlying each case. The cases provide a framework for students to generate a hypothesis and develop focused questions about the case’s specific learning objectives, resulting in students taking responsibility for their own learning and that of their peers.
Each student researches one or more learning objectives and shares what they learned with the group. Students learn how to work in a team to maximize knowledge acquisition and develop collaborative interpersonal skills. Students receive feedback often from their peers and faculty facilitators. Active participation from all group members is expected. Students remain within the group for approximately 4-10 weeks depending on the organ system being studied.(See PBL Case)
Long term success in science and medicine requires self directed learning and effective group process skills. The PBL process helps students develop this mindset along with skills of critical thinking and clinical reasoning while fostering collaborative learning and interpersonal communication. The PBL cases provide a relevant clinical framework for learning basic science concepts. The constant interaction and student-driven learning are what make our program dynamic and develop physician investigators who are thoroughly comfortable with a team approach to clinical medicine and research. In fact the PBL method mimics the clinical practice of medicine that will be the graduates' profession for the rest of their lives.