Module 9 e-journal entry: Problem based learning – case studies

Case-Study-Recipe Back in my college years I remember memorizing tons of information in human physiology, a subject in my clinical years.  It was all books, lectures and more lectures. I wish I had the memory of a computer to store and retrieve data during those days. Unfortunately, YouTube was not as popular as it is now, so reading, note taking and friendly discussions along the corridor were my best friends for learning. It is a good thing that the subject was interesting because it dealt with the human body’s composition, function and metabolism! It could not get any better than that. However, I think much could have been done if the person who taught it was a constructivist and a humanist. Well, I do not mean to blame him. In fact, I am still grateful for he has shared what he knew the best way he could.   Having encountered constructivist theory in this course, in this era of information technology, I believe people like us have tremendous advantage for motivating learners to experience deep processing. Given a chance at present time, I will introduce case studies of common systemic diseases (problem based learning) that affect many people to make the subject more interesting and relevant to their own personal experiences.  Surely, in one way or the other they must have heard about these cases from friends, family members or I will show them emotionally moving visuals of medical cases and allow them to discuss in groups, exploring the causes and effects, and compare and contrast normal and abnormal organs and tissues. As the learning facilitator, I will also provide them with guide questions to lead them in discovering essential facts. Instead of just memorizing, I will motivate them to form their own schema of how the entire organ system complement and depend on each other to be effective and efficient at work.  In addition, as future responsible professionals, I will encourage them to appreciate the similarities of the human body with social organizations such as a family, a community and a nation. Metaphors could be strong analytic tools that can help people in their deep processing and I will persuade  them to make their own.  Finally, they say that to teach is to learn. Using this perspective, I will ask them, as a group, to present their findings and conclusions in the most creative way they can.


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