Courses for tutors in problem-based learning. Current challenges at four Swedish universities

  • Helen Susan Setterud Örebro Universitet
  • Madelaine Johansson Örebro University, Centre for Academic Development (PIL)
  • Gudrun Edgren Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Gunilla Amnér Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Elisabet Persson Uppsala University, Medical School, Educational Unit for the Study Programme in Medicine
  • Ulrika Segersten Uppsala University, Medical School, Educational Unit for the Study Programme in Medicine
  • Lars Uhlin Karolinska Institutet, Unit for Medical Education, LIME
  • Marie Lidskog Örebro University, School of Medicine (ILU)

Abstract

The key role of the tutor in problem-based learning (PBL) is to help students become selfregulated learners. Tutors need training to acquire the necessary facilitating skills for this task. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss how PBL tutor training is currently arranged at four universities in Sweden: Linköping University, Lund Medical Faculty, Uppsala Medical School and Örebro School of Medicine. Moreover, we seek to analyse how the content and format of the tutor training courses correspond to the desired skills and competencies for PBL tutors described in the literature. We draw especially on work coming out of three pioneering universities for PBL: McMaster University, Canada; Maastricht University, The Netherlands; and Linköping University, Sweden. One aim has been to construct a framework for analysis that uses categories specifying the knowledge base, capabilities and skills to support students’ learning processes which characterise the full-fledged PBL tutor. For this framework, we have used the following categories: Knowledge of PBL and pedagogical theories, Personal traits, Student-centeredness, Ability to handle group processes, and Subject knowledge. We collected descriptions of the course design and content from the four universities, and assessed to what extent these categories were represented within the courses. Our results show that all categories inform the course content at all four universities, though the design varies between courses. In summary, we show that the four PBL tutor training courses are all designed to enable participants to experience PBL first-hand both as members of a tutorial group and as tutors. They all also include a theoretical base and offer opportunities for discussion and reflection with peers; however, there are some differences in design between the courses. According to participants, all four courses provide good preparation for the tutor role. Yet, we see a need for the programmes to organise continuous educational support for tutors after they have started their work with groups of students.

Författarbiografier

Helen Susan Setterud, Örebro Universitet
Pedagogiska Enheten, Läkarutbildningen (PELU)
Madelaine Johansson, Örebro University, Centre for Academic Development (PIL)
Tidigare Linköpings Universitet
Gudrun Edgren, Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Teaching and Learning

 

Gunilla Amnér, Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Teaching and Learning

 

Elisabet Persson, Uppsala University, Medical School, Educational Unit for the Study Programme in Medicine

 

Ulrika Segersten, Uppsala University, Medical School, Educational Unit for the Study Programme in Medicine

 

Lars Uhlin, Karolinska Institutet, Unit for Medical Education, LIME
Tidigare Linköpings Universitet
Publicerad
2015-06-09
Sektion
Reflektion