Integrating Problem-Based Learning and Simulation: Effects on Student Motivation and Life Skills


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Abstract

Previous research has suggested that a teaching strategy integrating problem-based learning and simulation may be superior to traditional lecture. The purpose of this study was to assess learner motivation and life skills before and after taking a course involving problem-based learning and simulation. The design used repeated measures with a convenience sample of 83 second-year nursing students who completed the integrated course. Data from a self-administered questionnaire measuring learner motivation and life skills were collected at pretest, post–problem-based learning, and post-simulation time points. Repeated-measures analysis of variance determined that the mean scores for total learner motivation (F = 6.62, P = .003), communication (F = 8.27, P < .001), problem solving (F = 6.91, P = .001), and self-directed learning (F = 4.45, P = .016) differed significantly between time points. Post hoc tests using the Bonferroni correction revealed that total learner motivation and total life skills significantly increased both from pretest to postsimulation and from post–problem-based learning test to postsimulation test. Subscales of learner motivation and life skills, intrinsic goal orientation, self-efficacy for learning and performance, problem-solving skills, and self-directed learning skills significantly increased both from pretest to postsimulation test and from post–problem-based learning test to post-simulation test. The results demonstrate that an integrating problem-based learning and simulation course elicits significant improvement in learner motivation and life skills. Simulation plus problem-based learning is more effective than problem-based learning alone at increasing intrinsic goal orientation, task value, self-efficacy for learning and performance, problem solving, and self-directed learning.

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