ABSTRACT

Designing Authentic, Ill-structured, Engaging Problems Watson (2004, p. 188) provides a useful definition of PBL as follows: “At its most fundamental, PBL is characterised by the use of real world problems as a context for students to learn critical thinking skills and problem solving skills and to acquire knowledge of the essential concepts of the course.” Critical thinking skills involve the ability to interpret, analyse, and evaluate information and ideas, and develop independent opinions and judgements based on sound evidence and reasoning (Facione, 1990). This section of the chapter considers the key features that make problems effective in developing specialist ultrasound knowledge and generic graduate

attributes including team working and critical thinking skills. Features identified in the literature, which contribute to effective PBL problems, are discussed in the context of a Master’s of Science (MSc) PBL programme in clinical ultrasound. In particular, the following aspects of problem design are discussed in turn: authenticity, learning issues generation, activation of prior knowledge, complexity, optimal structure, quality of self-directed learning, and problem cues.