Collaborative learning

Laura E Sujo-Montes, Shadow W Armfield, Cherng Jyh Yen, Chih-Hsiung Tu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a strategy that focuses on inquiry-based learning and is grounded on the belief that students learn more effectively when they are actively involved and interested in the topic (Kwan, 2000). Although PBL has been used in medical schools as the preferred way of teaching and learning for a long time, it remains almost unused in the public K-16 education systems. Fortunately, PBL is gaining more acceptance and use among K-16 educators and students due to the many cognitive and “soft skills” that participants must learn and use. Bell (2010) explains that soft skills are needed to compete and succeed in a global society. The author describes soft skills as the social and personal skills that lead a person to become a self-reliant, effective communicator, team player, active listener, who is apt in negotiation skills and creative endeavors, among other desirable skills. According to Koh, Khoo, Wong, and Koh (2008), in a study conducted with medical school students, PBL showed a concentrated positive effect on social and cognitive dimensions. In particular, PBL showed strong to moderate impact on coping with uncertainty, legal and ethical aspects of health care, communication skills, and selfdirected continual learning. These skills are very important for a global society workforce where employers look not only for the “hard skills”–technical skills– but also for “soft skills” that defi ne a well-rounded and qualifi ed individual (Goles, Hawk, & Kaiser, 2008).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedia Rich Instruction
Subtitle of host publicationConnecting Curriculum to All Learners
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319001524
ISBN (Print)9783319001517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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