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Advancing new approaches to learning and teaching – introducing appreciative inquiry to a problem‐based learning curriculum

Advancing new approaches to learning and teaching – introducing appreciative inquiry to a... Problem‐based learning (PBL) focuses on organising the content of the curriculum around problem scenarios rather than subjects or disciplines. Under the guide of academic tutors (facilitators), students work in groups to creatively solve or manage problems. The traditional approach to PBL is to look for the problem, carry out a diagnosis, and aspire to a solution. Since the primary focus is on what is wrong or dysfunctional, students often emphasise and amplify the problems. In response, this research proposes introducing appreciative inquiry (AI) as a dimension within PBL. A qualitative phenomenological approach was adopted using semi‐structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to make sense of the tutors’ “lived experiences”. Purposive samples of 18 academic staff that facilitate PBL on occupational therapy programmes in English universities were recruited. Findings show that the problem solving focus of PBL may inhibit creativity in students’ thinking and learning, and lead to the adoption of a rational approach. AI involves looking for what works first by using an appreciative eye. What PBL has as a limitation, AI offers as its strength; the two appear to be naturally complementary. The development of transferable skills through this newly proposed model may enhance the learning experience and clinical practice of students. As there have been limited studies into the implementation of AI within PBL, further action research is recommended to evaluate the perspectives of both tutors and students on its application, synthesis and practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Advancing new approaches to learning and teaching – introducing appreciative inquiry to a problem‐based learning curriculum

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/17581184201000002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Problem‐based learning (PBL) focuses on organising the content of the curriculum around problem scenarios rather than subjects or disciplines. Under the guide of academic tutors (facilitators), students work in groups to creatively solve or manage problems. The traditional approach to PBL is to look for the problem, carry out a diagnosis, and aspire to a solution. Since the primary focus is on what is wrong or dysfunctional, students often emphasise and amplify the problems. In response, this research proposes introducing appreciative inquiry (AI) as a dimension within PBL. A qualitative phenomenological approach was adopted using semi‐structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to make sense of the tutors’ “lived experiences”. Purposive samples of 18 academic staff that facilitate PBL on occupational therapy programmes in English universities were recruited. Findings show that the problem solving focus of PBL may inhibit creativity in students’ thinking and learning, and lead to the adoption of a rational approach. AI involves looking for what works first by using an appreciative eye. What PBL has as a limitation, AI offers as its strength; the two appear to be naturally complementary. The development of transferable skills through this newly proposed model may enhance the learning experience and clinical practice of students. As there have been limited studies into the implementation of AI within PBL, further action research is recommended to evaluate the perspectives of both tutors and students on its application, synthesis and practice.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: Appreciative inquiry; Healthcare education; Occupational therapy; Problem‐based learning

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