Challenges facing PBL tutors: 12 tips for successful group facilitation

Med Teach. 2005 Dec;27(8):676-81. doi: 10.1080/01421590500313001.


One of the main tasks of a problem-based learning (PBL) tutor is to facilitate group discussion. Group facilitation is about process rather than content. In this process, a tutor helps the group increase their skills and progress in their discussion. Several studies have highlighted strategies and training used in preparing PBL tutors. However, PBL tutors usually feel that it is not that easy to change their teaching style to the PBL format. They are sometimes unsure about their role or what strategy they might use to facilitate their students' discussion. This article in the '12 Tips' series is a detailed description of, and provides answers to, common challenges faced by PBL tutors. The tips provided in this manuscript should help tutors with practical answers. The article may be useful to PBL tutors, medical and health educators and those responsible for PBL training workshops.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Group Processes*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Problem-Based Learning / organization & administration*
  • Victoria