Networking in Finland

Problem based learning network meeting in Helsinki

Last week me and some colleagues flew out to Finland for some days of networking with colleagues of the Problem based network. The day started with a student perspective regarding factors that make a good scenario or trigger. The students had identified some key aspects such as: 1. Evoking feelings/reaction 2. Up to date 3. Evoking thoughts 4. Visuals such as video and audio 5. Having a functioning work group as a base for learning. They showed us some examples of good scenarios that according to them had played out well in their previous groups. Among these were some YouTube clips. They also listed factors that prohibit a scenario being: 1. containing too much information 2. To limiting 3. To wide/abstract.

Then we discussed a factor that I have reflecting a lot upon regarding competences necessary for the profession. How much do we discuss qualitative factors crucial for their upcoming profession? Those being for example: critical thinking, taking initiative, being creative, problem solving etc. Do we need to have these skills from start or can we improve them based on what type of education we provide? Another interesting issue is that regarding the development and progress of PBL throughout an education. How do we deepen students skills regarding problem based learning depending on the complexity of their tasks/examinations etc.

The participants were divided into groups trying out some topics using a problem based learning model. Something I always have pushed on is the pedagogical value of evaluating groups and letting the evaluation take time and also the impact that it can have on the group process. To be continued….