Introduction: Summarizing Findings and Looking Ahead to a New Generation of PBL Research

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Jason Ravitz


The articles in this issue effectively summarize three decades of Problem Based Learning (PBL) research. The meta-analysis (Walker & Leary) and meta-synthesis (Strobel & van Barneveld) articles review outcomes of studies conducted from 1976 to 2007 that compared a PBL curriculum to a traditional curriculum. The third article offers a critique of assessments used in these studies. This commentary highlights the conclusions of the articles and their unique contributions to our understanding of PBL and the breadth of its impact. Issues to be addressed in future research are discussed.

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