How to Create and Moderate a Great Problem Based Learning Discussion (PBLD)

Format Publication ID Version Published
Evaluation Tool, Case 9371 1 March 14, 2013


This Problem-Based Learning module is designed to facilitate group discussion with the integration of existing knowledge and new knowledge by self-directed learning. It addresses the rationale and benefits of case-based learning, differentiates problems suitable for case-based learning from those more appropriate for a case report, provides a framework for participants to construct an engaging PBLD from a brief stem, and outlines best practices for moderating a PBL discussion. After the case presentation, the instructor guides the group through a series of questions, each of which promotes discussion and reviews the recommended strategies for the relevant aspect of the teaching method.


Lalwani K. How to Create and Moderate a Great Problem Based Learning Discussion (PBLD). MedEdPORTAL; 2013. Available from:

Educational Objectives

By the conclusion of this learning module, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the rationale for case-based group learning.
  2. Recognize the characteristics of a case or problem ideal for case-based learning.
  3. Differentiate between a case appropriate for a Medically Challenging Case Report and a PBLD.
  4. Construct an engaging PBLD from a brief case stem.
  5. Formulate a set of best practices for moderating a PBLD.


  • PBL Discussion, PBL, Group Moderation


  • Dental
    • Advanced Dental Education

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
    • Interprofessional Collaboration
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Professional Interest

  • Curriculum Development/Evaluation
  • Health Education
  • Instructional Materials/Methods
  • Teaching Skills

Intended Audience

  • Professional & Faculty Development
  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student
    • Nursing Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Study
  • Problem-based Learning

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