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General and Professional Education
3/2017 pp. 54-60

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Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is often used to teach social competences which are very culture dependent and prior background, ethnicity and other factors may play a role. Data on role of those contributing factors is very limited. Aim of study: Comparison of perceptions of PBL between native Polish students and English language full time Scandinavian students of the same university. Methods: In 2013 a subject fully integrated with Pathology, based on PBL principles was introduced into the curriculum. Two groups of students were evaluated: group A (Polish) and group B (Scandinavian). Both had the same content. After one semester (75 hours) the analysis was performed. Anonymous and voluntary questionnaire evaluating various elements of the course (17 questions) was used. Results: We had sufficient return rate 78,9% (A:71/90) vs. 63,8% (B:46/72) respectively. Almost 62% of Polish and 67,4% of Scandinavians liked the method of teaching. 74,6%(A) vs. 78,3%(B) claimed that course motivated them to learn and explore knowledge in various fields. 71,8% vs. 89% think that time devoted is well spent. 60,6%(A) vs. 91%(B) claimed that the course help them to recall basic science and 39,4% vs. 69,3% students think that it increased their skills in teaching others. Class performance and MCQ test were not significantly different.

Polish and foreign students were satisfied with the PBL course. There are significant differences between students from different ethnic groups in their perceptions of PBL. Further assessment of PBL should be continued to better understand how to use it to maximize benefits of different students' populations. The same PBL course may be different for subpopulations of students.

Key words

Problem Based Learning, culture dependent background, perceptions of PBL among different ethnic groups, cultural diversity among students


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