PBL and mixed-background groups on Master’s programmes
This article presents the main findings of an applied research project, which studied student experiences of the challenges and opportunities of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in two master programmes (MPs) at Aalborg University (AAU) characterised by diverse student groups, who bring different educational backgrounds, skills and experiences to the table. Research shows that PBL holds a potential for integrating and promoting learning outcomes for diverse student population, but also that heterogeneity can have negative influence on group dynamics and collaboration central in PBL, but how students experience this is under-researched. The investigation shows that diversity in terms of age differences and varieties in educational backgrounds are experienced both as challenges in teaching situations, but also as an opportunity to increase student learning over time. The study concludes with recommendations for practical alterations of the introduction to and conditions for the PBL model.
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