Each problem based learning exercise is discussed during two sessions. During the first, the group reads the problem and formulates a list of information that is needed to reach a resolution. After compiling this list, the group mutually decides who will find each piece of needed information by searching the literature.
Prior to the Resolution Session, each group member will search for the information assigned to him or her during the initial meeting. A listing of helpful resources is provided on the External Links page. Students are particularly encouraged to search PubMed, a comprehensive database of the biomedical literature, to find relevant journal articles. Reading of journal articles should be the primary method that students use to procure information needed to resolve the problem.
During the resolution session, each student will present to the group the information they gathered during their literature search. Each student may opt to generate a powerpoint presentation related to their topic, which they circulate to the group prior to the session. The group will discuss the information presented by each student, and will jointly formulate a solution to the problem. It is important that all group members participate in the discussion, and that each group member understands (and agrees with) the final resolution of the problem.
Optimally, the TA facilitator should not dominate the discussion. The facilitator’s job is to assure that the group stays on track in solving the problem, but not to solve the problem.
Your grade for PBL sessions will be based on attendance (30%) and participation (70%). Your TA facilitator will base the participation grade on how thoroughly you researched the topic, and your ability to explain the information to the group.
Your lowest PBL score will be dropped, and your grade will be based on your performance in 6 PBL sessions. The PBL exercises are worth 12% of your grade, so the highest score that can be obtained from the exercises is 60 points (10 points per session).
If you must miss more than one PBL for good reason (e.g., attending medical school interviews), you have the option of submitting a 7-10 page double-spaced written solution to the problem you missed. As noted above, you can miss one session without penalty, as the lowest PBL score is dropped. It is helpful to announce any scheduled absence to your group, so no major aspects of the problem will be omitted in discussions.