Wheeling Jesuit University

Physical Therapy Home
Academic Home

About Us
  Mission Statement
  Faculty & Staff
  Facts About WJU DPT
  Service Learning
  Problem Based
  What is Physical
  Commission on
Accreditation in
Physical Therapy
Education (CAPTE)

Prospective Students
  Clinical Education
  Tuition & Fees

Current Students
  Physical Therapy Club
  Student Bios
    Class of 2017
    Class of 2018
    Class of 2019
  Student Handbook
  Pre-Entrance Health Forms
  Immunization Requirements
  Annual Physical

  Related Links

Email: dpt@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-7201

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)*, as implemented in the health sciences, is an educational method in which the focus of learning is a small group of tutorials in which students work through healthcare scenarios. The goals of healthcare scenarios are to provide a context for learning, to activate prior knowledge, to motivate students, and to stimulate discussion. Learning is student-centered rather than faculty-centered and self-directed learning is emphasized. The method was developed in the McMaster University Medical School program.

The theoretical basis of PBL is that learning is enhanced by the following conditions:
  1. stimulation of prior knowledge
  2. learning in context to enhance retention
  3. elaboration of knowledge through discussion
There are several assumptions underlying PBL style of learning:
  1. Students can be responsible for the breadth and depth of learning if given direction, resources, and feedback.
  2. Students bring with them a wide background of prior learning and experience.
  3. Learning in small groups enhances understanding, exploration, discussion, and debate.
  4. Faculty tutors facilitate learning and translate concepts rather than "teach" or serve solely as information-givers.
  5. Information used to comprehend and deal with real-life scenarios is integrated from a variety of traditional disciplines.
Critical features of PBL curricula:
  1. Learning in small groups with a faculty member as a facilitator or tutor is pivotal.
  2. The role of faculty is to serve as facilitators rather than as teachers.
  3. Traditional course content, including basic sciences, is integrated into health care scenarios.
  4. Students are responsible for their own learning, thereby allowing integration of prior knowledge and heightening motivation for learning and the development of lifelong learning skills.
*Saarinen-Rahiika, H. Binkley, J. Problem-Based Learning in Physical Therapy: A Review of the Literature and Overview of the McMaster University Experience. (1998). Physical Therapy 78, 2, 195-207.

Career Opportunities | Calendar | President's Welcome | Offered Services | Financial Aid | Campus Directory | Title IX | Apply Online

© 2017 Wheeling Jesuit University, Inc. • 316 Washington Avenue • Wheeling • West Virginia • 26003 • 304-243-2000 • Legal
Website Powered by ActiveCampus™ Software by Datatel