Problem-based learning (PBL) is an excellent opportunity for students to take responsibility for their learning and to develop a number of cognitive skills. These include identifying problems in the trigger, generating hypotheses, constructing mechanisms, developing an enquiry plan, ranking their hypotheses on the basis of available evidence, interpreting clinical and laboratory findings, identifying their learning needs, and dealing with uncertainty. Students also need to work collaboratively in their group, communicate effectively, and take active roles in the tutorials. Therefore, interaction in the group between students and their tutor is vital to ensure deep learning and successful outcomes. The aims of this paper are to discuss the key principles for successful interaction in PBL tutorials and to highlight the major symptoms of superficial learning and poor interactions. This comprises a wide range of symptoms for different group problems, including superficial learning. By early detection of such problems, tutors will be able to explore actions with the group and negotiate changes that can foster group dynamics and enforce deep learning.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.