Courses for tutors in problem-based learning. Current challenges at four Swedish universities
The key role of the tutor in problem-based learning (PBL) is to help students become selfregulated learners. Tutors need training to acquire the necessary facilitating skills for this task. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss how PBL tutor training is currently arranged at four universities in Sweden: Linköping University, Lund Medical Faculty, Uppsala Medical School and Örebro School of Medicine. Moreover, we seek to analyse how the content and format of the tutor training courses correspond to the desired skills and competencies for PBL tutors described in the literature. We draw especially on work coming out of three pioneering universities for PBL: McMaster University, Canada; Maastricht University, The Netherlands; and Linköping University, Sweden. One aim has been to construct a framework for analysis that uses categories specifying the knowledge base, capabilities and skills to support students’ learning processes which characterise the full-fledged PBL tutor. For this framework, we have used the following categories: Knowledge of PBL and pedagogical theories, Personal traits, Student-centeredness, Ability to handle group processes, and Subject knowledge. We collected descriptions of the course design and content from the four universities, and assessed to what extent these categories were represented within the courses. Our results show that all categories inform the course content at all four universities, though the design varies between courses. In summary, we show that the four PBL tutor training courses are all designed to enable participants to experience PBL first-hand both as members of a tutorial group and as tutors. They all also include a theoretical base and offer opportunities for discussion and reflection with peers; however, there are some differences in design between the courses. According to participants, all four courses provide good preparation for the tutor role. Yet, we see a need for the programmes to organise continuous educational support for tutors after they have started their work with groups of students.
Författare som bidrar till Högre utbildning behåller upphovsrätt och publiceringsrättigheter för sina artiklar, men samtycker till att publicera sina artiklar under villkoren i Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International-licens som tillåter tredjeparter at kopiera, bearbeta och vidaredistribuera materialet oavsett medium eller format, på villkor att hen anger källan på korrekt sätt, länkar till licensen och markerar om det är gjort ändringar i materialet. Verket får inte användas och delas för kommersiella ändamål.