Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dirty Skipper

I just couldn't make myself go to school this morning. Having a guy who specializes in stem cell research teaching us cardiac physiology is just too painful. And then a 2 hour "lab" that involves looking at plastinated specimens that I won't remember anyways. I'm planning on spending some time reading cardiac arrhythmias this morning and trying to get a handle on heart block and then I have to go to PBL (problem based learning).

My school does PBL every semester that we have lectures. For the most part, I kind of like it because it's a good time to review and solidify my knowledge about the subjects taught in class and to get an idea of the literature available on a variety of subjects. Some of the people in my class HATE PBL passionately. They see it as a waste of time and full of "stupid" sociological concerns and questions. I have to say though, one or two people who hate it can bring the group down hugely. It's too bad it's manditory to show up because sometimes I'd rather that some people didn't.

My group this semester is really good, but our facilitator really isn't very good. He doesn't understand that the point of a PBL facilitator is not to offer all of his own knowledge but for him to keep the group moving and allow us to explore our own questions and steer us to the questions mentioned in the outline he is given. He spends half of each session talking and we run over time every week. I like PBL but I want it to be efficient. I like to get things done and keep them moving and I often feel like I don't have all of the time in the world. Each case comes with a tutor guide telling the tutor which subjects we should address and what the diagnosis is. My tutor doesn't read the guide, therefore, two weeks ago we missed 4 topics we were supposed to discuss and missed the correct diagnosis. Although one of my group members suggested it, our tutor brushed it off because he had never heard of it. I hope this improves in the future. It would be a shame to diminish the learning experience by missing topics and hearing our tutor drone on about the same thing week after week that I'm sure he forgot he talked about the week before.


Jenn said...

I agree that 1-2 people can totally bring down the group. In my case, the side discussions, inappropriate jokes, and getting hugely off-topic kept one of my PBL groups consistently going over time. Our instructor didn't really do much about it during the course, but then complained about it during my review, saying he "should have kicked those guys out, what do you think?" I agreed, because I wanted PBL to be efficient, too. Get my learn on and leave.

Calavera said...

Oh honestly. PBL... jeez. A successful session really does depend on the group dynamic that you have. Along with the chair.

Good on you for skipping the lecture. Reading about the lecture from your entry made me want to sleep!