Antonia ScholkmannMarlise D. Küng

Students’ Acquisition of Competences through Problem-Based Learning

Reflecting Evaluation Results in the Mirror of Existing Data


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Instruction based on students’ inquiry processes, like Problem-Based Learning (PBL), is considered as an alternative to traditional teaching in higher education. The additional value of such instructional designs for students’ learning outcomes, however, is discussed controversially. The present paper presents the results of a course evaluation in the field of teacher education at a Swiss university of applied sciences, where teaching is partly organized in the form of a problem-based curriculum since 2009. With the purpose of interpreting the findings more elaborately they were compared with existing evidence about competence acquisition in PBL curricula as well as with data from the development of the survey instrument, the HesaCom (cf. Braun/Leidner 2009). Results show PBL’s potential for the acquisition of systematic competence as well as practice-oriented knowledge acquisition and illustrate the procedure of reflecting evaluation results in the mirror of existing evidence.

Problem-Based Learning, Acquisition of Competences, Course Evaluation, Teacher Education