An evaluation of a problem-based learning experience in an occupational therapy curriculum in the UK

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The objectives of the study was to evaluate an adapted approach to problem-based learning (PBL) on a pre-registration Masters course in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia in the UK. The adaptation, named placement PBL, required students to write and select the material based on their placement experiences, for the cohort's learning. The evaluation purpose was to determine the students' views of the efficacy of placement PBL for facilitating their learning in the final 3 months of their pre-registration education. Placement PBL was evaluated using both questionnaires and focus groups, with two cohorts of students for data collection. Placement PBL was seen to provide current, relevant and complex learning scenarios that help students to move from a theoretical understanding to application of theory in the complexity of actual service situations. The authors conclude that placement PBL has the potential to prepare students for the transition from student to qualified practitioner. Both researchers were also the PBL tutors which may have affected the students' honesty in their feedback. Further research is indicated for ongoing evaluations of the effectiveness of PBL in helping students to become confident occupational therapy clinicians, and comparative studies with other learning approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalOccupational Therapy International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

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