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J Dent Educ. 2007 Sep;71(9):1160-70.

Investigating the relationship between PBL process grades and content acquisition performance in a PBL dental program.

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Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N1N4.


In this study, we examined the relationship between students' problem-based learning (PBL) skills and their content acquisition as measured by traditional examinations. We conducted this investigation to evaluate the assumption that students' learning in the small group setting of PBL as evaluated by their faculty facilitators was an accurate indicator of students' learning as measured by problem analysis tests and traditional content acquisition tests. Parallel model reliability analyses were conducted to determine reliability for each year's assessment components, which included multiple choice examinations, image-based computer tests, facilitators' evaluations of students' performance in the PBL small groups, and assessments that measured the students' problem analysis and problem-solving skills. We also performed correlation tests to analyze the data. The reliability tests show that all assessment measures were consistently significant. There were predominantly significant correlations between process type assessment measures and the more traditional objective tests. When analyzed on a yearly basis, all of the correlations were significant. When analyzed on a trimester basis, all of the correlations were positive, with many being significant. The finding that the process grade revealed significant correlation with the other two assessment tools indicates that although process type evaluations may seem to be primarily subjective, they are an important metric for monitoring student progress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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