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Facilitators' influence on student PBL small group session online information resource use: a survey

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-4-9

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Survey of student and facilitator perceptions of facilitator behavior and student use of online information resources.Students who used online information resources rated their facilitators' behavior as more encouraging, while students in groups who didn't use online information resources during problem-based learning small group sessions rated their facilitators' behavior as less encouraging. This result was statistically significant.Our study supports the role of the facilitator as an influence on medical students in small groups, particularly with respect to facilitator verbal behavior encouraging or discouraging student use of information technology in the problem-based learning small group session.What is the impact of the facilitator on students during a PBL session? In problem-based learning (PBL) curricular research has focused on the characteristics of good facilitators and how they influence student performance and satisfaction [1,2]. Far less frequently addressed has been the question of how PBL facilitators influence the activity of students. This question lies in the arena of professional behavior and learning characteristics, areas that are now receiving increased emphasis among medical educators. In one study by Chaves, et al. [2] a survey was used to examine the roles of facilitators and students. The results indicated that students recognized that the facilitators were modeling professional behavior. However, specific behaviors were not examinedOne skill that has becoming increasingly important for medical students is the willingness and ability to use the vast information resources that are available on the Internet [3,4]. Significant national medical education initiatives such as the Association of American Medical Colleges' Medical School Objectives Project have focused on information management and technology [5,6]. Preferred methods for integrating information management into medical education include embedding information management experience

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