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Korean J Med Educ. 2018 Mar;30(1):57-64. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2018.82. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

An analysis of medical students' reflective essays in problem-based learning.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Humanities, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to explore students' learning experience in problem-based learning (PBL) particularly in terms of what they learned and how they learned in one Korean medical school by analyzing their reflective essays with qualitative research methods.

METHODS:

This study included 44 first-year medical students. They took three consecutive PBL courses and wrote reflective essays 3 times anonymously on the last day of each course. Their reflective essays were analyzed using an inductive content analysis method.

RESULTS:

The coding process yielded 16 sub-categories and these categories were grouped into six categories according to the distinctive characteristics of PBL learning experience: integrated knowledge base, clinical problem solving, collaboration, intrinsic motivation, self-directed learning, and professional attitude. Among these categories, integrated knowledge base (34.68%) and professional attitude (2.31%) were the categories mentioned most and least frequently.

CONCLUSION:

The findings of this study provide an overall understanding of the learning experience of Korean medical students during PBL in terms of what they learned and how they learned with rich descriptive commentaries from their perspectives as well as several thoughtful insights to help develop instructional strategies to enhance the effectiveness of PBL.

KEYWORDS:

Content analysis; Problems-based learning; Reflection

PMID:
29510609
PMCID:
PMC5840565
DOI:
10.3946/kjme.2018.82
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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