Problem Based Learning Vs Traditional Learning – Which Is Better

Problem based learning is the new type of curriculum practiced by some universities nowadays. They provide more student interaction but lesser intervention of professors. Traditional learning, which has been practiced for many centuries, requires a professor to impart the knowledge needed for students.

Now the question is, ìWhich is better?î Two disciplines of learning have their own benefits and consequences. Teachers, which have been trained to educate others, have their personal dilemma of giving direct and indirect help to students. Each discipline is discussed in this article to weigh its benefits and consequences.

Acquisition of Information

Traditional method involves imparting knowledge through lectures and discussions with little interaction with students. Teachers can opt to have student participation but the lecture is monopolized by the lecturer alone. Students can have the benefit of learning and understanding by simply taking notes and listening.

Problem based learning gives the student a guideline on what should be learned and is openly discussion through small group sessions. A teacher can facilitate but he cannot lecture the entire topic. This learning is beneficial for independent learners and audio learners

Time Management

While traditional method is time consuming because one topic has to be covered in one day, problem based learning only requires a few hours since it is limited to small group discussions. Any uncertainty will be considered as additional reading.

Traditional method may be time consuming, but studying will not be difficult since it was discussed and clarified in lectures. Problem based learning leaves the student the responsibility to learn by themselves and studying time is longer. It always pays to study smart.

The Art Of Independence And Discipline

Traditional learning is dependent on the teacherís lectures alone while problem based learningís approach is student centered. The students can practice discipline in studying and time management.

Maximizes Use Of Books

Problem based learning maximizes the use of books because the information has to be researched and studied. Traditional learning can maximize books, but lecture notes are most helpful because they provide an accurate summary of the book.

Exam Performance

Although this may vary from every student, exam performance is always enhanced in both types of learning. Traditional learning provides student the benefit to excel at every exam because the important information is emphasized during lectures. Problem based learning requires more effort to excel at every exam because the topics have to be dissected.

Overall, both types of learning depend on the learning preference of the student. If the student has been accustomed to traditional learning, then he/she will often excel. If the student has good study habits and can manage his/her own pace, then problem based learning is recommended.

These two types of learning should not be held responsible for every studentís academic performance. How a student excels is reflective of his/her goals and attitude. The best schools with either problem based or traditional learning canít teach that to a student. Because if there is a will, learning will always take place.