Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 2(1), pp. 1 - 9
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2014.020101
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Integrating Problem-based Learning with Community-engaged Learning in Teaching Program Development and Implementation

Su-I Hou *
Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602, United States


Purpose: Problem-based learning (PBL) challenges students to learn and work in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. Connecting academic study with community-engaged learning (CEL) experience can deeper learning and thinking. This paper highlights the integration of PBL with CEL in the Implementation Course to engage graduate students in designing theory-based health promotion programs for communities. Methods: Real world scenarios were used in student-led and faculty-facilitated group discussions and projects. The end-of-class reflections and comments from students enrolled in the Implementation Course during 2005-2013 were analyzed (total n=162). Inductive, descriptive analyses via an iterative process were conducted to identify themes and patterns. Results: Overall the Implementation Course received high evaluation (16-items), ranging from “very good” to “superior” (mean of 4.78 on a 5-point scale). Students commented that (1) the nurturing PBL sessions facilitated critical thinking; (2) the life-changing CEL resulted self-confidence and self-awareness; and (3) the integrated PBL with CEL course design increased relevance. Our community partners also expressed deep appreciation towards the quality work students delivered. Conclusion: The innovations in education provided valuable learning structure for students in higher education and produced theory- and evidence-based intervention plans and material products addressing community-identified health needs.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Community-Engaged Learning (CEL), Service-Learning, Intervention Mapping, Program Development

Cite this paper
Su-I Hou . "Integrating Problem-based Learning with Community-engaged Learning in Teaching Program Development and Implementation." Universal Journal of Educational Research 2.1 (2014) 1 - 9. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2014.020101.