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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 575-583

Problem-based learning: Dental student's perception of their education environments at Qassim University

1 Interns' Affairs Units, College of Dentistry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Orthodontic and Pedodontic, College of Dentistry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Saeed M Banabilh
Department of Orthodontic and Pedodontic, Director of Qassim Dental Research Center, College of Dentistry, Qassim University
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.195512

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Aims: The objectives of this study were to assess perceptions of the Saudi dental students of the problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum and to compare their perceptions among different sex and academic years. Subjects and Methods: Data was collected through a questionnaire-based survey at Qassim College of dentistry. The questionnaire consisted of 19 questions regarding the perception of PBL curriculum and was distributed to 240 students. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis of the data. Results: Out of the 240 students recruited for this study, 146 returned a complete questionnaire (the response rate was 60.8%). The majority of the students perceived that PBL enhances the ability to speak in front of people (91.1%); improved the ability to find the information using the internet/library (81.5%); enhances the problem-solving skills (71.3%); increases the practice of cooperative and collaborative learning (69.2%); improves the decision-making skills (66.4%). Sixty-five percent (n = 96) noted that some students dominate whereas others are passive during PBL discussion session. Statistically, significant differences were found in the following variables according to the academic year students assuming before responsibility for their own learning (P < 0.037) and the role of facilitator in the process (P < 0.034). Moreover, according to gender; there were statistically significant differences in the following variables, assuming responsibility for own learning (P< 0.003); activating prior knowledge and learning to elaborate and organize their knowledge (P< 0.009); enhancing the ability to find the information using the Internet/library (P< 0.014); PBL is effective without having lecture of the same topic (P< 0.025); helping in identifying the areas of weakness for improvement (P< 0.031); student understanding the objectives of the PBL session better than the conventional way (P< 0.040); and enhancing the ability to speak in front of people (P< 0.040). Conclusions: Perceptions of Saudi dental students regarding their education environments at Qassim College of dentistry using PBL hybrid curriculum were more positive than negative. However, improvements are still required to provide students with stimulating favorable learning environment and to take the students recommendations into consideration.

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