Students’ perceived predictors of an effective active learning/problem-based learning session: A pilot study

Sabrina A. Jacob, Tahir M. Khan, Priyia Pusparajah, Saraswati S. Velu, Learn Han Lee, Tamzyn M. Davey

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Active learning (AL)/problem-based learning (PBL) has been shown to improve the reasoning, communication and teamwork skills of students. However, the success of AL/PBL tends to vary depending on local context and culture. We undertook a study to assess pharmacy students’ current experience, expectations and level of understanding of AL/PBL. A focus group discussion involving ten Year-4 pharmacy students was conducted in Malaysia. Three key themes emerged: expectations of the AL/PBL session, tutor characteristics and cultural issues. The students expected that the AL/PBL session should help them apply their knowledge in real-life clinical situations. They also felt that the personality of the tutor was the key to the success of AL/PBL, and that Asians were more hesitant to participate in AL/PBL sessions. AL/PBL has the potential to be effective provided the sessions are carefully planned, and tutors are well trained in the context of local culture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-46
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2016


    • Active learning
    • Culture
    • Pharmacy
    • Problem-based learning

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