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Title: The development and evaluation of integration of inter-sessional facilitated online discussion in problem-based learning in undergraduate medical school curriculum
Author: Alamro, Ahmad Saleh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 7229
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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Problem-based learning (PBL) has been used extensively in medical education but its educational potential may not be fully realised due to several factors, including the variable interaction between students and tutors. Qassim Medical School (QMS) in Saudi Arabia implemented PBL 10 years ago. Three previous studies evaluating the Qassim curriculum have been published, which together with this researcher’s experience as a student at the same school, identified some difficulties and challenges with the collaborative learning aspect of PBL. A previous pilot study was conducted at QMS in 2010 exploring the integration of facilitated inter-sessional online discussion forums with PBL. The evaluation showed that students and tutors liked the integrated forums, and that the forums helped students to achieve the learning objectives effectively, enhanced collaboration, and increased use of learning resources. Students wanted the forums to be implemented in the other courses. Understanding the challenges and difficulties existing at QMS, the findings of the pilot study of integrated online discussions, and the lack of literature on the integration of the two teaching and learning methodologies have led to the development of the research question: ‘Does use of an inter-sessional facilitated online discussion forum between PBL sessions improve student learning?’ To address the research question, a conceptual model was developed, a training program was conducted, and a mixed-methods approach was applied. Analysis of the posts showed that knowledge construction occurs when discussion fora (DFs) are integrated between PBL sessions; student perception reported in this study validated the pilot study’s findings. This study gives insight for QMS and similar institutions that integration of facilitated DF can enhance students’ knowledge construction, overcome current issues with PBL, and improve student skills such as English writing.
Supervisor: Sandars, John ; Roberts, Trudi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available