I had left one of my Problem-Based reference books that I borrowed from the library on the table, when one of my Aussie-born mates came in and saw it. He made this rather distasteful look on his face and said that he didn't like any of these PBL stuff. (He is my Aussie flat-mate).
Which is interesting, as my knowledge on it is mostly theoretical....
Well, this mate is majoring in Engineering, and he said that he had to do a Problem-Solving course and he was one of the guinea-pigs that did the course.
He stated that it was an awful experience, as the assignments were mostly group based, and as much as (wishful as it sounds to be able to work peacefully and co-operatively as a group, where everyone did their fair share of the assignment) he wanted to do well in the assignment, it was mostly a horse shit experience to him. Out of four PBL courses he had to do, only one was properly structured, and workable to his knowledge.
The case went where, it was either the assignments were too difficult, or deemed impossible & unworkable, or some members of the group decided to drop out, or did not do anything at all. The ones that scored a HD, basically did everything on their own, and lied that everyone had put in a fair share of the work, but which basically was squat work.
He went on to say that the lecturers were not much of a help, as many of the students were not able to make head or tail of the assignments. (I lost him halfway....)
In which case, I would like to state the case of another Aussie-born mate of mine who told me about his case. He majored in Business, and had a group assignment where he did his share of the assignment, but his team-mates somehow managed to alienate him, and handed in the group assignment without including his name! He was obviously un-nerved by this, and went to the lecturer to plead his case.
As theoretical, and rhetorically the institutions would like to implement Problem-Based learning, there are many aspects that course- coordinator should look into, before doing so....As I much as I would like to write much on it, that is not the case, as my knowledge on this is still rather superficial. Of course, group work will always be difficult. I can say that having lived before with house-mates whom one cannot get along with, it really is able to drive one up the wall, and out of the house. I concur!