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So I’ve been thinking about PBL aka Problem Based Learning. In my last post, I wrote something like ‘it is important and useful to me’. BUT I never wrote why and honestly speaking I didn’t think of the reasons. I’ve used this method before and was indeed very effective (definitely got me a better mark) but I didn’t think deep enough as to why this method was useful to me. So I decided to coma back to this topic and explore it a little bit more.

I personally think that there are three different reasons why PBL is so popular among scholars. First, I think PBL is so widely use because most of the time it is based on real life situation. As mentioned by Adrian, PBL is often used by med students. Their lecturer might start the class by giving students a problem such as ‘our patient today is male aged 40 and his symptoms are headache, joint pain and chest pain. What does he have and how do you cure it?’ This is a real life patient with real life symptoms. This way, students are able to simulate what they will have to do once they get a job in the hospital. Instead of studying brain, heart and kidney separately, with PBL students will have a better chance to remember what they have done. This means students are able to sustain information faster and longer. Students are also forced to think outside the box because normally with PBL, the answer is not in the text book, which then will result in development of their creative thinking. Lastly, unlike the traditional learning method of reading text books and memorizing things on your own, PBL encourages students to communicate with each other. This will then lead to the improvement of students’ communication and networking skills. These skills are a necessity for everyone in order to succeed in their career as well as their life. For all those reasons, I believe PBL is one of the best learning methods there is.


The title of this blog entry was my failed attempt to make a PBL joke…


PBL aka Problem Based Learning, should be a familiar term to most people. But, just for the fun of it I went to Their definition of PBL was “student cantered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences.”

I personally have used this method few times over my academic years and as mentioned by Adrian it is indeed a good way to start the project. Until he asked us to find a method to solve this problem and how do you go about finding this method. Took me a while to understand this concept but once he gave us the ‘ESSAY’ example (if someone told me to write an essay but I have no idea what an ‘essay’ is, what would I do to go about writing an essay?), I was crystal clear! But honestly speaking, it doesn’t sound as easy as it actually is. This is because we, as a student, we are so used to jumping straight to finding solutions. We already know the method and very rare, people would put in an extra effort to conduct a research about something that they already know. But then again, we’re not an undergraduate student anymore and we are not just writing a 3000 words essay. I guess if we don’t do our research this way we will all suffer sooner or later. I need to keep this in mind when I am conducting any kind of research for this course.


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