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This first part of this chapter starts with an introduction of paradigm shifts in learning theories
and discusses the theoretical foundations of PBL. The rest of the Chapter 2 introduces definition,
background and historical origins of PBL. It then examines features of PBL for business
learning, followed by empirical studies of PBL in different sectors of education with
implementation of PBL in a business framework.


Paradigm Shifts in Learning Theories

The section first reviews different sets of cognitive aspects influencing classroom learning
theories, including behaviouristic, cognitive, and social-constructivist learning orientations. This
review emphasizes the paradigm shift from individual learning to social aspects of learning, and
then focuses on metaphors dominating our way of thinking about learning as the key
underpinning of the thesis.

2.2.1 From Individual to Social Aspects of Learning

Over the last century, the nature of learning and the ways in which people learn have been the
target of educational psychology research. Numerous studies have examined how learning takes
place in educational settings. Research has witnessed paradigm shifts, from a behaviourist
orientation in the 1950s, to a cognitive orientation in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and latterly
to a socio-constructivist orientation in the late 1980s. The paradigm refers to ways of thinking or
patterns of research that lead to the development of theory (Gage, 1963). Behaviourists believed
that learning might be regarded as a process of conditioning observable behaviour as a result of
selective reinforcement of responses to stimuli that occur in the environment (Pavlov, 1902;
Skinner, 1957; Watson, 1913). According to Phillips and Soltis (2004), behaviourists were not
concerned about the origin of meanings, ideas or concepts; learning was a process of expanding
the behavioural repertoire. In contrast, cognitive psychologists focus on the learner’s mental
process. Much research has been about meaningful learning (Ausubel, 1963; Kohler, 1957),
discovery learning (Bruner, 1957, 1966), experiential learning (Dewey, 1966), generative
learning (Wittrock, 1974) and schemata formulation and equilibration (Piaget, 1983). In the
theory of Piaget (1970), learning is a process in which, knowledge construction takes place from
the interaction between incoming information and what is already known through assimilation
and accommodation. It is argued that learners produce knowledge and figure out meaning based
on their experiences. Accommodation and assimilation are two key components in terms of
constructing a learner’s new knowledge.

the teacher continually communicates with his or her students and creates learning experiences matching their needs. Resnick. which involves higherlevel cognitive functioning (Kuhn.2 Constructivist Views of Learning Constructivist views of learning share the notion that an individual actively constructs knowledge in relation to their prior knowledge through the processing of new information (Alexander.2. and the important roles of prior knowledge (Anderson. Resnick. in which. Pintrich. Resnick. the teacher plays a significant role by assisting his or her students in gaining their own understanding. Piaget's theory of constructivism puts emphasis on how learning occurs. 1984). 1993. Schallert. students should own the learning process and come to their own conclusion. Here. 1991). 1990. 1989. During the learning progress. 1989). students are challenged and nurtured to become critical thinkers. Collins. This paradigm emphasizes the individual process of constructing knowledge. 1995. 1989. New information is assumed to be assimilated and . emphasizing construction of knowledge and understanding (Brown. & Hare. Pressley. 1984) and cognitive and metacognitive strategy use (Flavell. This stage is in line with Piaget's theory of constructivism. Later educational psychologists developed Piaget’s notions into key tenets of constructivism in education. Biggs & Moore. rather than focuses on what influences learning. Resnick. 1979. 1984) in the learning process. Instead of being told the answers.In addition. 2. & Duguid. 2000.

1991. 1995). Learners’ beliefs about knowledge and learning and conceptions of learning are critical components of the process of learning and knowledge construction (Biggs. Scardamalia & Bereiter. and intentional learning (Bereiter & Scardamalia. metacognition (Flavell. 1992. 1998. These learner-controlled strategies are associated with deep conceptual learning and understanding (Chan. Zimmerman. Recently. According to Savery and Duffy (1995). Schraw & Moshmann. In addition. 1992). Learners then see how much their individually constructed understanding is compatible with other understandings. Winne & Hadwin. 1979. Burtis. While these notions contribute to our understanding of how knowledge may be actively constructed. 2001. 1998). cognitive conflict acts as a stimulus by providing initial activation of prior experiences and understanding the learners’ constructs. & Bereiter. Schommer. 1978). The social environment provides alternative views and additional information for knowledge to evolve as learners test or evaluate the viability of individual understandings and build knowledge and meaning compatible with those understandings (Savery & Duffy. Hofer. 1989). more researchers have put forward evidence that learning cannot be separated from social context (Palincsar. Stahl. 2006. Research attention has shifted to how students learn in group settings and how group learning and individual learning processes may differ (Roschelle. 1998. 1993. Scardamalia. 1994). Vygotsky.integrated with an existing schema in the mind. they focus on individual rather than social and collective aspects of learning. 1995). 2006). . other theoretical aspects of constructivism that have garnered intense research attention are self-regulation (Pintrich & Garcia.

learning and understanding are seen as inherently social. Brown. communities of learners (Brown. . they inform such current learning theories as situated learning (Lave & Wenger. Therefore. students can be communities of learners who build a supportive learning environment and promote individual development and collaborative construction of knowledge. 1999). 1993). 1989). and the interdependence of learning (as an external process) and development (as an internal process) are some of the social-constructivist theories in which. cognitive apprenticeship (Collins. share and develop knowledge and expertise. According to Brown. and finally make the learning process visible and articulated (Bielaczyc & Collins. According to Gergen (1995).In short. Students can be acculturated into authentic practices through activity and social interactions. the ideas about situated learning have made a significant impact on educational practice in which its key message is that meaningful learning appears only when rooted in the physical and social context. Collins. an increased attention to socio-constructivist approaches to learning developed in the late 1980s. 1991). communities of practice (Lave & Wenger. Vygosky’s theories about the zone of proximal development (1926). and Duguid (1989). 1997). and communities of knowledge building (Scardamalia & Bereiter. knowledge is socially constructed and is the product of social process which emphasizes the construction of meaning embedded in social activities and the co-construction of knowledge. 1991). Additionally. the mediating role of semiotics (tools and signs) (1981). & Newman. 1998). Cultural activities and language use are integral to conceptual development (Palincsar.

Accordingly. Underlying a diversity of models and theories of learning. The metaphors of learning represent “ideal types”. this section elicits the metaphors of learning which has drawn much attention in recent years. generalizable knowledge and logically organized knowledge structures are found in intelligent activity.3 Metaphors of Learning Beyond learning theories about constructivism. According to Fodor (1981). the mind is regarded as separated clearly from the cultural and social environment as well as from the material world.5). Learners are seen as acquirers of new knowledge while the teacher’s role is to help students attain their goal by facilitating and . It is believed that concrete approaches to learning can integrate these characteristics with different foci and in different ways. 1998. p. as a typical cognitive approach. Placing emphasis on propositional knowledge and conceptual knowledge structures. the acquisition metaphor appears to be in line with constructivist theories of learning. According to Sfard (1998). Ideally. learning from the perspective of an acquisition metaphor is akin to “accumulation material goods” (Sfard. In addition. this metaphor is a Cartesian view of human activity and epistemology in which knowledge is processed inside the human mind with logical means.2. these two metaphors represent everyday and scientific conceptions of learning in an insightful manner. which show typical combinations of characteristics in a simplified and schematic way. has emphasized the role of mental models or schemata in learning. the metaphors of learning were identified as the acquisition metaphor and the participation metaphor. Two authors including Gardner (1985) and Neisser (1976) suggest that the acquisition metaphor.2.

1991) and cultural-historical theories (Vygotsky. 2005. it is always criticized that such a learning environment based on an acquisition metaphor may bring about inert knowledge that is often not transferable to situations beyond familiar. Paavola & Hakkarainen. 1978). & Lim. The participation metaphor describes learning environments that are based on the situated nature of human knowledge and cognition (Paavola & Hakkarainen. Lipponen. & Duguid. 1989). & Duguid 1989. 1998). the focus has shifted to the competency of communicating in the language of the community and responding according to its particular norms (Sfrad. 2000. Within the participation metaphor. 2005). (2005). Collins. situated learning (Lave & Wenger. & Duguid. 1989) or legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger. . Collins. 1997. It has to be said that the emphasis is no longer on generalizable rules or conceptual knowledge but on the social processes that define one’s identity within a community (Barab & Dyffy. Tan. enculturation (Brown. O’Neill. Yeo. learning is a social process of knowledge construction (Vygotsky. This perception of knowledge and cognition has its roots in emerging learning theories such as situated cognition (Brown. Lave & Wenger 1991).mediating the delivery and conveyance of knowledge to the students. learning is no longer “learning about” but “learning-to-be. An example of such a learning environment is the traditional lecture-style. According to Pavvola and Hakkarainen. 1998). Sfard. 1991). Sfard’s other metaphor of learning is one of participation .” The goal is to set learners off into the learning community and let them acquire the skills to communicate and respond by themselves. 2005). Hakkarainen. However. In other words. Collins. & Paavola. 2001. 2004. in which learning is an interactive process of participating in various learning activities that structure and outline cognitive activity in many ways (Brown. 1978). well-structured problems (Edelson.

constructivists reason that learning begins with the prior knowledge. feelings. The knowledge creation metaphor describes a learning environment that emphasizes not only individual cognition but also the community and the ways members in the community collaboratively develop mediating artefacts (Lipponen. which have an impact on how they view the world. The Knowledge-Creating Company (Nonaka & Takeuchi. In this respect. Paavola. Paavola & Hakkarainen. Learners need to construct their knowledge with experiences and teachers help them by assessing how students are constructing scientific knowledge and by providing guidance through challenging PBL problems (Schulte.Instead of one or the other. Sfard (1998) declares that each paradigm has something to offer and an adequate combination would bring to the fore the advantages of each of them. 2004. 2002. 1996). Therefore. knowledge is perceived as rooted in mediating skills and practices that learners embody rather than as a separate entity. Compared with the participation metaphor. Hakkarainen. Lipponen and Hakkarainen (2002) assert that knowledge creation is to capture an increasing interest in and presence of a particular kind of learning environment seen in recent years (see Knowledge Building by Scardamalia and Bereiter (2003). 1995). & Paavola. Expansive learning (Engeström. According to Schulte (1996). learners bring personal experiences with them into the classroom. 2001). Although it resembles an acquisition metaphor in the sense that knowledge is emphasized. 2005). Paavola. the knowledge creation metaphor extends beyond the situatedness of action and participation in . & Hakkarainen. Lipponen. and skills students bring with them to learning situations.

On the other hand. 2005). the next question that arises is: what are the theoretical underpinnings of Problem-based Learning? PBL can be seen as a combination of cognitive and social constructivist theories. PBL focuses on cognitive reorganization. encourages learners elaborate and justify . the knowledge creation metaphor overcomes the inadequacies of the acquisition. By emphasizing both transformation of knowledge in context and the collaborative process of learning. addresses misconceptions and promotes question-asking interaction by emphasizing the deliberate transformation of a community’s knowledge. builds on prior knowledge. concepts and questions. uses primary data or other interactive materials.3 Theoretical Foundations of PBL Having described the paradigm shifts in various learning theories. in Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of social constructivism. a knowledge creation metaphor of learning highlights the cognitive. PBL encourages learners to solve authentic problems which reflect real-world complexities. shares common interests. gives choices to learners for multiple solutions. relates to personal experiences. emphasizes autonomy. in Piaget’s (1970) theory of cognitive development. organizes information around problems. a learning environment based on the knowledge creation metaphor places emphasis on the continual advancement of knowledge and understanding as well as highlighting the collaborative. uses activities with uncertainty and novelty. systematic development of conceptual and material artefacts (Paavola & Hakkarainen. social and situative process of developing and creating knowledge. instead of mere appropriation of existing practice. On one hand. 2. Hence. In other words.

encourages group processing of experiences and fosters multiple ways of understanding a problem. In addition. contextualized learning is possibly one of the very important underpinnings of PBL (Barron et al. p. PBL also embodies the question-and-answer dialectical approach which is in line with Socrates who believed that self-education or self-discovery was the only true way to learn (Rhem.. the principle of this approach is on the transfer of learning. This learning approach aims to help learners to know how to transfer what they have learned to life beyond the school. because this mechanical operation is put to use in solving a problem. the entire response is not mechanical. characterized by the transferability of learning from one context to another.their answers. & . Dewey (1909) remarked: If nevertheless. 1998).223). patterns. There is no end to this spiral process: foreign subject matter transformed through thinking into a familiar possession becomes a resource for judging and assimilating additional foreign subject matter (Chapter 16. 1998). and relationships (Bransford. A major feature of contextualized learning is that teachers start with real-life contexts and put these contexts into their teaching and learning process. The transfer of learning has been proved to be more effective when students are able to understand the whole scope of knowledge including principles. Brown. In particular. the situation as a whole presents something novel and hence uncertain.

which are based on reallife situations and are loosely structured. It is argued that they might forget what they are tested on soon after passing the examination. 1997). serve as a stimulus to develop students’ critical thinking (Major. Furthermore. Resnick. & Collins. 1995) and it uses small group instruction as a means to deliver knowledge. The uses of PBL problems. the role of the PBL instructor as an expert. Authors. postulated that this kind of knowledge can be acquired only through practice. In short. Greeno. 2. As previously mentioned. students under a traditional learning approach are relatively passive and unable to retain information in a meaningful way. 2000).Cocking. Glaser. it may be assumed gradually fades out. 1999. 1992. including Hartman (2001) and Pressley and Woloshyn (1995). PBL contrasts with the traditional learning approach by placing emphasis on active student participation in learning (Savery & Duffy. As PBL problems provide students with real-life problems which are tackled in a group with the students helping each other. this contextualization requires learners to develop not only content but also metacognitive awareness of when and how to apply what has been learned.4 Definitions .

1986. featured by professional or ‘real world’ practice. PBL is an active learning instructional method that uses real-life problems to facilitate student learning. Norman & Schmidt. Barrows (2002). integrate theory and practice. define pursue and acquire the missing knowledge. According to Barrows (1996). Nevertheless. • A student-centred approach. • Teachers act as facilitators and ask students meta-cognitive questions • Authenticity forms the basis of problem selection. Students first encounter the problem which serves as a stimulus for the application of problem-solving or reasoning skills and for the search for information or the knowledge needed (Major. Barrows and Tamblyn (1980) defined the concept of PBL as learning that results from the process of working towards the understanding or resolution of a problem. It has an ability to empower learners to conduct research. has identified the following key components within the PBL context: • Problems are ill-structured and presented as unresolved. students generate multiple thoughts on how to solve it. p.9) summarized PBL as “an instructional (and curricular) learner-centred approach.The definition of PBL is varied and elusive (Albanese & Mitchell 1993. . 1992). students determine the key issues of the problems. literature refers mostly to Barrows and Tamblyn who applied PBL to medical education. Drawing upon many definitions of PBL. Barrows. Savery (2006. a pioneer of PBL. 2000). PBL has numerous definitions. addressed by different educational institutions which aim to refine their particular approach.

West (1966) criticized the university instructors for ‘‘being too busy telling students what to learn’’ and for not placing the focus on helping students with how to learn. Miller and West started to be concerned about what the teachers should do to ensure these medical students passed examinations. as well as settings including high school.5 Background and Historical Origins of Problem-based Learning Having said that PBL is a constructivist approach that moves away from the traditional delivery approach and emphasizes the importance of contextualized learning. 1989). the basic sciences. PBL allows learners to identify what they need to know. PBL has drawn comparison with research conducted in the medical field in the early and mid 1960s by Miller and West (in Scheiman. Miller (1962) found that medical students did not perform satisfactorily in a basic examination upon retake. disciplines.and apply knowledge and skills to develop a viable solution to a defined problem”. PBL has been implemented as an entire curriculum. and settings resulting in an inconsistency for comparison. It is used in disciplines of the medical and health professions. analyse and communicate the findings to others (Williams. Educators have modified PBL to address the needs of the specific student populations. undergraduate and graduate university programmes. and further education. From that time. 2000). Whittaker. Since then. The history of PBL is said to have begun in the early . This diversity in PBL implementation presents challenges in interpreting and performing PBL research. & Dell. It started to address the concerns as to whether the typical traditional learning situation was sufficient to help medical students become professionals. 2. a course. or subset within a traditional course.

2006. In PBL.6 Empirical Studies of PBL at Tertiary Level . numerous medical schools started to incorporate PBL into their curricula. he laid the groundwork for classifications of PBL (1986). PBL has been slowly adopted by schools of science and later by schools of humanities (Boud. discussed its application in medical field and other disciplines (1996) and examined the role of PBL facilitators (HmeloSilver & Barrows. university tutors adopt this approach for preparing future professionals such as doctors. Over the decades. 2. middle schools and high schools (Ashkenazi & Rosenfeld. Recently. Howard Barrows was a pioneer in the area of PBL and assessment in medical education since 1970s. For example.1970s at the medical school at McMaster University in Canada (Boud & Feletti. 2006). From then on. 2008). Liu et al. 1995). From medical and professional schools.. 2008. He has been influential for the whole scope of PBL development. 1997). and express concerns that the traditional learning approach is not sufficient as a means to develop students’ high-order thinking skills. PBL has been experimented in elementary schools. Among the advocates for PBL. PBL is generally regarded to be the opposite of traditional learning approaches.

Donner & Bickley.Research studies clearly provide evidence of the effectiveness of Problem-based Learning in retaining factual knowledge (Norman & Schmidt. 1999. Nursing (Chan. Whitehill. Dentistry (Yiu et al. In addition. To date. 2004) for their undergraduates. first in medicine and subsequently in other specializations. 2012). 1990. PBL seems to increase responsibility for students’ own learning. 2008). Most of the published PBL studies have been carried out with higher education students. Ho and Chan (2009) examined the effects of using PBL in a one-year-full-time student-teachers programmed in Liberal Studies programmed in Hong Kong and found that PBL enhanced student-teachers‘ competence and fostered the pre-service teachers to reflect on their beliefs and practices more critically. 1990. 2003). It seems that PBL has the capacity to influence the level of learning positively (Bickley. PBL has apparently also proved to be the most effective methodology employed to date. . & Dodd. In Hong Kong. In teacher education.. It also captures many of the key principles of constructivist learning (Savery & Duffy. 2000). several tertiary institutions such as University of Hong Kong and other universities have offered various PBL programmers. 2010. Epstein. Donner & Bickley. A possible reason for extensive uses of PBL in medical education and other disciplines might relate to its positive influences. 2011) and Medicine (Chan et al. ability to relate theory to practice and improved ability to remember and re-use knowledge (Breton. 1992). Donner. to promote students’ research and collaborative team-work skills (Murray-Harvey & Slee. Darvill. research conducted about the responses of students to PBL and effectiveness of this instructional approach in terms of improving outcomes is generally similar to the previous research done in western countries. 2001). Walker & Tift.. including Speech and Hearing Science (Mok.

Willis. compared PBL with traditional learning in terms of different variables. 2000). For example. Hosokawa. learning satisfaction. More specifically. A similar conclusion was reached in Colliver’s (2000) review of PBL studies conducted between 1992 and 1998.. Prince. student motivation. most of the studies. Scherpbier. 1999. it was also found that PBL students used acquired knowledge to apply to new problems (Bransford et al.1993). Enarson & Cariaga-Lo.1989) and the degree of students’ ‘independent learning’ in PBL settings was higher (Vermunt & Verschaffel. Furthermore. PBL was found to be more effective than traditional teaching in the domains of confidence about knowledge acquisition. 2002). 2000. 2000. especially in medical education. and van der Vlueten (2003) found that PBL did not result in lower gains in anatomical knowledge than the more traditional education approaches. use of a variety of learning resources and self-directed work (Colliver. breath of interest. & Player. Hmelo-Silver (2004) found that it was inconclusive as to whether PBL enhances students’ achievement after examining test results of high school. Hauck. Hylkema. Visser (2002) also found that PBL students were more skilful in “problem finding” and engaged in problem-solving. In contrast. However. Hohmann. 2001. and to enhance students' interpersonal skills (Vernon. Kaufmann & Mann. 1995). A third conclusion by Blake. . undergraduate and medical students schooled through PBL. van Mameren. and Riley (2000) on medical student’s achievement in basic science and clinical knowledge showed that students under a PBL curriculum significantly outperformed the rest of their peers who were under traditional curriculum. Norman & Schmidt. PBL also has the capacity to promote student teamwork and interaction.

6. 2003. Gijbels. Dochy. Van den Bossche. . Over 15 years. Mullan. b) development of cognitive scaffolding for science information. and Buisonjé (2002) undertook systematic reviews from a different point of view. More recently. 1993. there has been a considerable amount of research comparing the effectiveness of PBL with the traditional learning approach. an overview of selected meta-analyses about the effectiveness of PBL as an instructional and learning strategy will be discussed. Vernon & Blake. and c) the exposure to the range of knowledge content. Verbeek. Vernon & Blake. & Gijbels. 1999. 2005. In this section.2. 1993. 1993). However.1 Reviews on the Effectiveness of PBL in Tertiary Education Over the decades. Dochy et al. there are several meta-analyses which have specifically investigated the effectiveness of PBL instruction as compared to traditional instruction (Albanese & Mitchell. Among these systematic reviews. 1993). Newman. Researchers have been looking for ways in which PBL could help students to study better in different aspects. Segers. & Segers. (2003) and Smits. 2003. Berkson. Dochy. Colliver (2000). Van den Bossche. Kalaian. these meta-analyses were not consistent among their findings. The effect of PBL was mainly investigated by three categories: a) costs compared with those of lecture-based instruction. A major reason is due to the differences of definition in describing effective learning in terms of PBL setting. & Kasim. three were published in the same year and the same journal (Albanese & Mitchell 1993.

their counterparts in the standard curriculum. Another well known review was conducted by Vernon and Blake (1993) who synthesized all available research from 1970 through to 1992. not much evidence was found to suggest that PBL was better . The main results of this review were that. These two authors compared PBL with more conventional teaching methods in medical education by aligning five statistical metaanalyses. On the contrary. PBL graduates found PBL to be more enjoyable and nurturing than conventional instruction and that they performed at least as equivalently well in their clinical examinations. Distlehorst and Robbs (1998) compared the academic performance of students in a PBL curriculum with that of their counterparts in the standard curriculum. in basic science examinations in medical field.S National Board of Medical Examiners Examinations. It was found that students in the PBL curriculum performed at least as well as. with the following main results: PBL students were found to be significantly better than other learners under a conventional teaching approach in terms of attitudes and opinions about their programmes and clinical performance. the scores of PBL students on miscellaneous tests of factual and clinical knowledge were not significantly different from the scores of conventionally taught students. it is not always the problem that PBL is found to be effective. and in some instances better than. compared to conventional teaching. In a three-year study. the conventionally taught students performed significantly better than those students under the PBL approach on the U. However. However. out of the ten studies investigated concerning the effectiveness of the PBL curriculum in medical education. Berkson’s (1993) review showed that. students under conventional teaching outperformed PBL students. Contrary to the previous review findings.The study categorizes and lists the qualitative results of studies in medical education from 1972 to 1993.

Colliver (2000) reviewed the medical education literature on Albanese and Mitchell.. In terms of educational effectiveness. study approaches and student satisfaction tended to favor PBL. Results also did not demonstrate any significant differences between two instructional approaches about knowledge impartation. a review generalized from forty studies concluded that PBL students outperformed students under conventional teaching in the areas relating to conceptual understanding and knowledge about understanding and application. Newman (2003)’s review indicated that students in traditional learning environments performed better than students under PBL conditions. Nevertheless. while clinical assessments favored PBL. The major purpose of Colliver’s review was to look at the credibility of claims about ties between PBL intervention and educational outcomes such as achievement in knowledge and skills. In addition. More recently. it is still inconclusive to say that PBL is better than traditional methods. It was also found that traditional tested academic performance favored the conventional teaching approach. the review focused on the issue of effect sizes in these studies. it was noted there was a tendency that the PBL approach was likely to . It was found that PBL did not significantly improve the knowledge base and clinical performance. In addition. Berkson’s review showed that while PBL students placed emphasis on understanding. students in the traditional class tended to memorise facts.than conventional teaching in terms of teaching problem-solving. However. Later. Blake and Berkson as well as those studies published from 1992 to 1998 in terms of the comparison between PBL and traditional learning instruction. Vernon. Combing through all the reviews. The effect of PBL intervention is more obvious in these aforementioned domains (Gijbels et al. 2005). his review showed that it was unlikely that students will suffer disadvantageous outcomes from participation in PBL courses.

7 Importance of PBL to Improve Soft Skills Among Students Communication Skills Students had indicated in a study that good communication and interaction between groups of friends is the most important factor that can promote their learning in PBL. Cooperation Group According to Wee (2004).produce better learning outcomes for clinical knowledge and skills whereas the traditional learning approaches inclined to produce better outcomes. a person needs to have strong communication skills and decision-making skills are also necessary in order to be a competent workforce. 2. What is certain every student should have an outstanding achievement in whatever . So indirectly PBM can implement and enhance good communication skills among students. to be a student and a skilled workforce. Interaction with a group of friends is important in PBL because students have to turn and share information while they try to solve a given problem. This is supported by Barrows and Tamblyn (1980) which states one of the main objectives in PBL is that students will be able to enhance their communication skills.

in a study that was conducted by Mpofu et al (1998). Linking existing knowledge as the first step to manage the problem. facilitators and experts in related fields. According to Wee (2004). Independent . magazines. The study also found that atmosphere in PBL group discussion which encourages collaboration can also influence students interest in PBL. it will be easier to solve problems than working individually. the objectives and advantages of PBL are promoting independent learning skills. If students work in teams. the students will be more brilliant and mature as compared to those who go through traditional mode of learning. evaluate and synthesize new learning from a variety of credible sources. internet. Gibbon and Wall. Nafis (1999) who obtained a similar result. Consequently. 2000). Influence on individual and group is certainly one of the elements found in PBL process. excellent individuals can improve and overcome any weaknesses. Similarly. 27 students preferred to work in groups since it can affect their learning. According to Wee (2004). qualified advisors. This was supported by A. 2009. including books. findings in a study showed 79% of students agreed that activities which promote discussion enhance their interest in PBL (Drawn Norbaizura. A study by A.00. Nafis (1999) highlighted that students agreed that the atmosphere in group discussion and the act of collaboration influenced their academic performance.50 until 4.endeavor. Self Learning Skills Norbaizura (2006). Through management of a given problem. the students earned grade point average from 3. students will know their limits and what is needed for learning. students are responsible for their own learning. found that respondents agreed that one of the advantages of PBL is that it can promote self-learning skills in them. journals. Furthermore. They will learn to find. Thus.

Nafis (1999). facilitators also serve to balance between intelligence and emotional components as well as share their feelings and the views of students. lecturers can only act as facilitators. Existing processes in PBL allow students to obtain relevant information and relate the information obtained with the existing information. especially in the future working environment.learning is relevant to be adopted by students because it will yield effective results. Perception refers to the views of students on several aspects of Problem Based Learning (PBL). . This notion was found in a study by A. They also will discuss and debate the information. Students are also encouraged to reflect and always ready to solve new problems. According to Rogers (1994) in Mok (2003) self-study is equal to the change and growth of a person since naturally all people have the desire to learn. In addition. students are able to cope with new challenges that lie ahead. In addition. compile and build the source of information. who perform tasks such as building positive learning environment and explain the purpose of learning. Students are able to pursue knowledge independently especially in terms of acquiring information technology skills which can assist them in understanding topics of study. During self-study. Besides this. students felt that PBL encouraged them to learn continuously. This effort is vital to the government's mission to promote lifelong learning culture among its citizens. they will also identify whether the knowledge gained is adequate or not to solve a given problem. Students will be able to update their learning and skills effectively and efficiently. Siti Norbaizura (2006) conducted a study to examine students’ perception on PBL. self-study creates independent students. As a result. In addition. Majority of students felt that PBL encouraged them to learn independently. A study conducted by Gibbon and Wall (2000) found that 75% of students agreed that PBL increased their motivation to learn. other advantages of PBL is that they can learn something new through past mistakes as PBL is not a linear process (Wee. This is because. 2004).

particularly in developing higher-order thinking skills and promoting soft skills among students. interpret and evaluate an argument. This is because all of the components of such skills are needed during a given solution. PBL has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning. and examine the relationship between overall ideas or sequence. critical thinking is defined as the use of operational thinking which forms the basis for analysing. the study conducted by Siti Norbaizura (2006) showed that students felt that they needed to apply their Critical and Creative Thinking Skills (CCTS) in order to solve the problems in PBL. Making analogies and conditional reasoning also includes assessing element inference. Assessing skills are also divided into two sub-components namely. analyse ideas and analyse arguments. Analysing arguments include finding causes and conclusions or make assumptions. According to Mok (2003). evaluating information and assessing the reliability of information. The operational use of thought is interpreted as the basis to analyze. It is clear that all the components of thinking skills can be generated through the use of PBL in teaching and learning. Poh (2000) stated that critical thinking skills can be divided into two smaller components namely. classify. . Analysing and comparing ideas include the ability to distinguish.Critical and Creative Thinking Skills In addition to the above points.