Problem-based learning within health professional education. What is the role of the lecturer? A review of the literature

Nurse Educ Today. 2000 May;20(4):267-72. doi: 10.1054/nedt.1999.0397.


With the increasing popularity of using problem-based learning (PBL) within health professional curricula, it could be argued that the health lecturer's role in education is changing. As a lecturer, I have only recently become involved in using PBL. With increasing exposure to the process and through reviewing the literature, I have come to realise that the role of the lecturer is fraught with difficulty. The literature is often conflicting with PBL meaning different things to different people (Barrows 1986). It provides no consistent guidelines as to how the lecturer should adapt to undertake this new role. This article explores the issues around the role of the lecturer within PBL and through reviewing the literature, investigates the level of intervention the lecturer should provide when students are undertaking the PBL process. Suggestions will be made to 'facilitate' the lecturer into facilitating an effective teaching strategy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Faculty, Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Problem-Based Learning / methods*