Developing staff for the implementation of problem-based learning: Experiences from Botswana

23 Nov 2016

Educational transformation in higher education places new demands on academics, especially in terms of shifting from traditional methods of teaching and learning to the application of innovative methods. Whereas outcomes-based education leans towards a philosophy, problem-based learning (PBL) offers a structured methodology in which teaching and learning can occur in a systematic, yet innovative manner. One cannot simply expose academics to the theoretical concepts of PBL and then expect them to apply the methods. Academics need rigorous training and development in the practice of PBL. This article describes a workshop aimed at training academics in Nursing Education regarding the application of PBL. The medical model (often termed the hypotheticodeductive method of problem-solving) was used to: analyse clinical scenarios; generate and modify hypotheses; and search for information as learners would. Evaluation and reflection of the programme showed that participants benefited from the exposure to PBL, and were confident about implementing it in the classroom.