J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2016 Dec;40(4):277-284. 10.11149/jkaoh.2016.40.4.277.

Effects of full problem based learning of dental students on self-directed learning, communication, and problem solving abilities

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive & Community Dentistry, Chonbuk National University Dental School, Jeonju, Korea. prevdent@chonbuk.ac.kr
  • 2Institute of Oral-bio Science, Chonbuk National University Dental School, Jeonju, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose
of this study was to examine the effect of problem-based learning (PBL) on dental education to dental students. The following were investigated in this study: 1. Does PBL improve the ability of self-directed learning? 2. Does PBL change communication ability? 3. Does PBL change the strategy of problem solving?
METHODS
The participants of this study were 39 students in the experimental group and 68 students in the control group. The measurement tools of this study were self-directed learning, communication, and problem solving abilities tests designed by the Korean Educational Development Institute. The data was analyzed by the two-way ANOVA and ANOVA with repeated measures.
RESULTS
In self-directed learning ability during 3 semesters, the experimental group showed a U-shape change but the control group showed a reverse U-shape change. In the experimental group, the self-directed learning ability was decreased after one year (after the first and second semester). The level of communication ability decreased every day during the three semesters monitored in both the control and experimental groups. The level of communication ability in the experimental group continuously decreased during the three semesters, with the exception of one semester. Finally, for the problem solving ability during the three semesters, the experimental group showed a reverse U-shape change while the control group showed a U-shape change. In the experimental group, there was no change after two semesters.
CONCLUSIONS
On the basis of the findings in this study, the following conclusions can be made. First, problem-based learning has a positive educational effect compared to didactic-based learning within one year. Second, the appropriate length of PBL is two semesters, or one year. It could be recommended that dental education in Korea should be combined or hybridized with PBL; for example, PBL could be used in combination with brief lectures or block lectures by teachers.

Keyword

Communication; Dental education; PBL (problem based learning); Problem solving abilities; Self-directed learning
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