Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

Problem-based Learning

Problem-based learning (PBL), within AHSS, is a student-centred pedagogy that encourages students to identify and research the concepts and principles required to solve complex problems (22). Problem Based Learning (PBL), within Health Sciences, is a student-centred pedagogical approach that facilitates opportunities for students to learn through problem-solving activities, without receiving prior formal lectures relating to the subject material (11). PBL was first introduced into medical education during the 1960s (12) and has since been adopted as a core pedagogical approach by many medical schools across the globe (13; 14). PBL is found within multiple different disciplines, including nursing, dentistry, and pharmaceutical sciences (15-17). Within the STEM disciplines problem-based learning, students are tasked with solving a specific question or problem over a period of time. Problem-based learning aims to solidify topics covered within the module, with students building on knowledge acquired in class. The approach is student-centred and prioritises active learning. Problem solving sessions usually occur in two forms; live sessions with students work separately or collectively under the educator’s supervision, or working outside of class hours (5). Inquiry-based learning strategies such as project or problem-based learning are key pedagogical approaches across the STEM disciplines (8; 11; 12).