Problem based learning facilitation: New challenges to higher education educators

Nabishah Mohamad*, Farihah Haji Suhaimi, Srijit Das, Abdus Salam, Siti Mariam Bujang, Mohamad Arif Kamarudin, Harlina H. Siraj, W. N. Wan Zurinah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The new curriculum of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's medical programme uses problem based learning (PBL) as the main teaching-learning strategy. Objective: To evaluate the facilitators' skills in conducting the PBL tutorials by evaluating questionnaires at the end of each PBL case. Materials and Methods: The information gathered from questionnaires was triangulated by structured interview with students PBL group leaders. There were 72 facilitators involved in conducting 13 PBL throughout semester 3. A total of 2951 questionnaires distributed to all students prior to each PBL session. The response rate range from 78 to 97.8%. Overall response rate was 81.5%. The response for each item were rated as strongly agree, agree or disagree. Results: The results show that more than 99% of the students' perceived facilitators have good knowledge on PBL process and 97% of students agreed and strongly agreed that the facilitators show interest in students learning. Regarding students' perception on facilitator giving feedback, 7.7% of students disagreed that facilitators gave feedback to them. During the interview, students described three categories of facilitators; (i) facilitators who are actively involved in the tutorial process, probing students to for the breadth and depth of the knowledge; (ii) facilitators who are dominant and do not allow free discussion among students and (iii) facilitators who appear passive and do not provide any guidance to students. Conclusion: Facilitators' knowledge in the PBL process was satisfactory. However, their skill in probing students to the breadth and depth of knowledge is lacking and needs to be addressed during faculty development. Giving feedback to students was not consistent among facilitators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-246
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Curriculum
  • Evaluation
  • Facilitation
  • Facilitators
  • Medical
  • Problem-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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