Leading problem based learning
You can make or break a session when it's your turn to lead. Maria Ahmed and Faizan Ahmed explain how to succeed
The widespread introduction of problem based, self directed methods of learning demands a shift in power from the tutor to the student leader of problem based learning (PBL) groups. Chairing a PBL session is no mean task because the student must lead members of a similar age and ability. This must be done considerately to avoid resistance or resentment.
So how can you effectively chair a discussion? How can you maintain control and not be drowned out by fellow students or taken over by a dictatorial tutor? Perhaps more importantly, how can you ensure that the session is productive while preserving your reputation as a cool, minimal effort, high attainment student?
Pace yourself--Be structured in your approach; follow the PBL process (box 1). Agree on how long to spend on each step and leave room for manoeuvre should the case prove easier or harder to tackle than expected. Don't over-run