International Trends in Problem-based Learning Facilitator Development
International Trends in Problem-based Learning Facilitator Development

Produced by Dr Feroza Amien
School of Public Health and Family Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town


The facilitator plays an important role in ensuring that a Problem-based Learning (PBL) curriculum is successful. Their role is to guide and support students in their learning process and to challenge and probe students' knowledge of key issues relating to their work . PBL facilitation is a multifaceted skill which may require ongoing support and development of PBL facilitators. However, there is a paucity of information about the perceived need to support and develop facilitation skills on an ongoing basis, and whether support programs are in place in order to strengthen PBL facilitation skills. This resource describes how PBL facilitator training and development is conducted at various universities around the world. Information was gathered from medical educators at universities with PBL curricula from South Africa, Ghana, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands and Chile. Other related factors that may affect facilitator development were also explored, such as the profile of facilitators and the much debated choice of using facilitators that are content or PBL process experts. This educational film resource is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different aspect of PBL facilitation development:

Part 1 : The role of the facilitator and initial facilitator development in Problem-based Learning
This short film outlines the role of PBL facilitators and how various universities train novice facilitators in PBL.

Part 2 : Ongoing facilitator development in Problem-based Learning.
This short film describes whether strategies are in place at various universities to further develop facilitators in the skill of PBL facilitation.

Part 3 : Feedback mechanisms on the performance of Problem-based Learning facilitators.
This short film describes whether various universities provide feedback to facilitators regarding their performance and facilitation skills.

Part 4 : Problem-based Learning facilitator profiles
The last part of this film series looks at the type of people that are employed to be PBL facilitators at various universities, and whether the facilitator profile influences ongoing facilitator development strategies.