Students' approaches to learning in problem-based learning : taking into account professional behavior in the tutorial groups, self-study time and different assessment aspects
Faculty of Social Sciences. Instructional and Educational Sciences
Studies in educational evaluation. - Oxford
, p. 23-32
University of Antwerp
Problem-based learning (PBL) represents a major development in higher educational practice and is believed to promote deep learning in students. However, empirical findings on the promotion of deep learning in PBL remain unclear. The aim of the present study is to investigate the relationships between students approaches to learning (SAL) and academic achievement in a PBL environment, taking into account the role of self-study time and students professional behavior in the PBL tutorial groups. In addition, different knowledge categories that determine achievement (i.e., understanding of concepts, understanding of the principles that link concepts, and the linking of concepts and principles to conditions and procedures for application) were taken into account. A hypothesized structural equation model including these variables was tested. Results showed that the PBL students in this study reported more use of a surface compared to a deep approach to learning. The hypothesized model demonstrated an excellent fit of the model with the data. The relationship between SAL and academic achievement was mediated by self-study time and professional behavior. These findings imply that self-study time and professional behavior are crucial variables to take into account when studying SAL.