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Striking the Right Balance: An Evaluation of a Literature Database To Support Problem Based Learning.

Quinlan, Kathleen M. (2000) Striking the Right Balance: An Evaluation of a Literature Database To Support Problem Based Learning. . (KAR id:60326)


Faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, have developed a bibliographic database of articles to support problem based learning. The database, its role in the curriculum, and its effectiveness in guiding, without undermining, self-directed learning were studied, using the goals of problem based learning as a framework. Students' self-reports in the form of end-of-course student evaluations were used to learn how students use the database and perceive its impact on student learning. Responses of 3 cohorts of approximately 84 students each representing 2 courses were analyzed. Many students in both courses used the database and found it useful in addressing learning issues. The database did not eliminate the "search stress" students had described, but findings suggest that there are two types of search difficulty. One was related to the mechanics of obtaining and copying papers, and the other was centered on learning hot to cope with too much information and reading for new key concepts. On the whole, the goals of the database appear to have been met. A majority of students in both courses used the resource to access relevant primary literature, and the database helped students focus on a smaller collection of key articles rather than the huge results often found in a Medline search.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Kathleen Quinlan
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 15:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Quinlan, Kathleen M..

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