The implementation of problem-based learning started in 1969 and has spread since then throughout different parts of the world with variations in its implementation. In spite of its growth and advantages, there is continuing debate about its effectiveness over the conventional teaching learning methods. In the School of Dental Sciences (SDS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the Doctor of Dental Sciences (DDS) program follows a 5-year integrated curriculum. Basically the curriculum is problem-based and community oriented. This study was to explore the perception of DDS students about PBL sessions. This questionnaires-based cross sectional descriptive study were carried out on all the 110 students of the SDS who completed their second year of the course and participated in PBL sessions. Ninety five (86%) students responded to the questionnaires. Dental students found PBL session interesting and wanted to maintain PBL from the beginning of year 2 up to the end of year 3. Most students reported their participation in discussion during PBL sessions but the level of participation varied. Some of them worked hard to prepare themselves for discussion while others were relatively passive. PBL helped them with in-depth understanding of certain topics and link their basic science knowledge to clinical classes. They felt that guidance from subject specialists and well-prepared facilitators of the sessions were beneficial. The students believed that repetition of triggers from year to year discouraged their active search for learning issues. Majority of the students were undecided or disagreed about the availability of adequate learning resources Most of the students were undecided or disagreed about the availability of adequate learning resources for their self-study. Reviewing and renewing the PBL triggers, providing guidelines for searching for resource materials and briefing the students and facilitators about the philosophy and principles of PBL may make the PBL sessions more beneficial.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.