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Some information in English


In many ways, problem-based learning changes the traditional structure of university classes. Classes that are based on problem-based learning follow an approach that focuses on competency development and students’ self-regulated learning.

Problem-based learning is one of these approaches that are part of the curricula in some other European countries, but less in Germany. In the aftermath of the Bologna process, German universities faced huge changes and are still in the process of adapting new curricula structures and elements. In line with the introduction of bachelor and master studies to strengthen the compatibility and comparability between the European countries, the implementation of job and competency orientation at least in the Bachelor programs seems to pose a problem in German curricula at the moment. Therefore, approaches in other countries like Sweden and the Netherlands that are more competence-oriented may give insight into new developments that can be adapted to the current system.

This international empirical research project focuses on different ways of implementing problem-based learning in the three European countries mentioned above. Moreover, it aims at analyzing the efficacy of problem-based learning not only from the students’ perspective in competency development, but also from the teachers’ point of view. Thereby, the professional development of future university teachers can be enhanced.

Aim of the project

On the basis of empirical data on students‘ knowledge development and the teachers‘ attitude towards problem-based learning, recommendations will be developed that may guide university teachers as well as program developers to implement problem-based learning at their respective universities in Germany. 

Research Questions
  • Does problem-based learning, as constructivist theory states, lead to the same or even better results of students’ knowledge than ‘conventional’ curricula?
  • Which role does the teacher’s attitude towards their own teaching and their students in problem-based learning settings? 
List of publications

Metz-Göckel, Sigrid / Roters, Bianca / Ricken, Judith (2008): Wirksamkeit problembasierten Lernens als hochschuldidaktischer Methode – ein Ansatz zur Professionalisierung von Nachwuchswissenschaftler/inne/n in Deutschland und Schweden. Forschungsantrag für das Förderprogramm Hochschulforschung als Beitrag zur Professionalisierung der Hochschullehre im Rahmenprogramm Empirische Bildungsforschung des Bundesministeriums für Forschung und Bildung (BMBF)

Ricken, Judith (2011): Universitäre Lernkultur. Eine vergleichende Untersuchung der Gestaltung universitärer Lehre in Deutschland und Schweden. Wiesbaden: VS.

Ricken, Judith / Roters, Bianca / Scholkmann, Antonia (2009): Projekt PBL: Wirksamkeit problembasierten Lernens als hochschuldidaktische Methode. Journal Hochschuldidaktik 20 (1)

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