Poster Presentations

P-26: Increasing student confidence in PBL’s consistent coverage of curricular concepts across tutorials: a quality improvement in medical education pilot project

Rebekah Baumann*, Yassmin Behzadian*, Rhys Abdeen Linthorst*, Ifrah Shah*

McMaster University

Background: A cornerstone of medical education at McMaster University, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) enables students to take a self-directed approach to medical education. While PBL boasts of many advantages, the lack of standardization across and within tutorial groups regarding the depth and breadth of required content limits confidence and heightens anxiety amongst students.  

Objective: The aim of this quality improvement project is to increase student confidence that the PBL process covers foundational curricular concepts.

Methods: The proposed intervention consists of a brief case-specific checklist that will be read out loud by the tutor at the end of each tutorial and which outlines case-specific concepts that are considered key "takeaways" from the tutorial. The initial intervention will be first piloted by one Waterloo Regional Campus tutorial group and will later include all three campuses. The effect of the proposed intervention on improving student confidence will be assessed using pre and post intervention surveys. 

Preliminary findings: A needs assessment survey was administered to medical students at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine to assess their confidence that the PBL process covers foundational curricular concepts. 36 students, including representatives from all three years and three campuses, completed this survey. Preliminary findings suggest that students do not find current learning objectives to be comprehensive and that there is large variability between tutorial groups around the sharing of tutor-specific objectives. 

Conclusions: The incorporation of a case-specific checklist could yield significant increases in student confidence in their curricular knowledge while maintaining the self-directed aspect of PBL.