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The Use of Mobile Devices in Problem-Based Learning


Abstract

The use of mobile devices among undergraduate students is becoming increasingly popular. At least some teachers think that such a trend significantly changes how students learn and how teachers facilitate in problem-based learning (PBL). The aim of the project is to examine how healthcare students at HKU use their mobile devices during PBL and how their teachers view such uses. Six PBL facilitators and 44 healthcare students (in medicine, dentistry, and speech and hearing) were interviewed. Based on the interview results, a questionnaire was constructed and sent to the students in the three healthcare programmes, in which 346 responded. It was found that almost all students use mobile devices during PBL, mostly (though not exclusively) for learning related to the discussion. The students used the devices for information search and also synthesis (such as the construction of group notes and presentation of results of self-directed studies). The students also use specific educational tools on their devices (such as apps for drawing visual aids in the discussions). Based on the results of this study, it was recommended that the teachers can harness the power of mobile devices by maintaining the focus on discussion instead of pure information search.

Principal Investigator

Dr. L.K. Chan, School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine Contact

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

December 2015

Deliverables

  1. The project findings were presented twice to teachers from all faculties in HKU. Once in the PBL Masterclass held on 3 Oct 2015, and then during the book launch event for the book “Educational Technologies in Medical and Health Sciences Education” on 8 Dec 2015.
  2. A list of pedagogical and technical guidelines has been generated from were disseminated in the above presentations as well as in publications resulted from this project.
    Download

  3. A Moodle module on PBL was created within the Certificate in Medical and Health Sciences Education, oragnised by the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education, of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine.
  4. The conference abstracts and journal/book publications resulted from this TDG project:
    • Doherty I, Chan LK, Bridges S, Jin J, Ng L, Sharma N. The use of mobile devices in Problem-Based Learning at The University of Hong Kong. Mobile Learning Festival 2013, 25 May, 2013, Hong Kong.
    • Chan LK, Bridges S, Doherty I, Jin J, Ng M, Lai H, Chan NK. 2014. How do students use their mobile devices in PBL, CITE Research Symposium, 13-14 June 2014, Hong Kong.
    • Chan LK, Bridges S, Doherty I, Ng M, Jin J, Sharma N, Chan NK, Lai HYY. 2014. How do students use their mobile devices in problem-based learning? E-poster for HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine Frontiers Series – East-West Alliance Global Symposia, 28-29 October, Hong Kong.
    • Chan LK, Bridges S, Doherty I, Ng M, Jin J, Sharma N, Chan NK, Lai HYY. 2014. Mobile devices in PBL. ANZAHPE/AMEA 2015 Conference (Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators and Asian medical Education Association), 29 March – 1 April 2015, Newcastle, Australia.
    • Chan LK, Bridges S, Doherty I, Ng M, Jin J, Sharma N, Chan N, Lai HY. 2015. A qualitative study on how health profession students and their PBL facilitators perceive the use of mobile devices during PBL. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning (9)1. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/ijpbl/vol9/iss1/12/
    • Chan LK, Bridges SM, Doherty I, Ng M, Jin J, Chan NK, Lai HYY. How do health sciences students use their mobile devices in problem-based learning? In Bridges S, Hmelo-Silver C, Chan LK (editors): Educational Technologies in Medical and Health Sciences Education, p.99-116, Springer. http://www.springer.com/la/book/9783319082745
  5. Staff Development initiatives
    Moodle module on PBL was created for sharing current practice and the guidelines resulted from this TDG project.
    PBL Facilitator development: A PBL Masterclass in advanced PBL Facilitation was held on 3 Oct 2015, in which Professor Cindy Hmelo-Silver from Indiana University, Dr. Lap Ki Chan and Dr. Susan Bridges shared their experiences on PBL facilitation with a focus on the use of technology.

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