The Views of Undergraduates about Problem-based Learning Applications in a Biochemistry Course

Tarhan L., Ayyildiz Y.

JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION, vol.49, no.2, pp.116-126, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00219266.2014.888364
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.116-126
  • Keywords: Biochemistry course, Students' views about problem-based learning, Problem-based learning, Attitude, CHEMISTRY, STUDENTS, PERFORMANCE, CURRICULUM, ATTITUDES, EDUCATION
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The effect of problem-based learning (PBL) applications in an undergraduate biochemistry course on students' interest in this course was investigated through four modules during one semester. Students' views about active learning and improvement in social skills were also collected and evaluated. We conducted the study with 36 senior students from the Faculty of Science at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey. Pre- and post-tests were the primary tools used in this study and the Problem-Based Learning Assessment Scale was applied after each module to assess the students' views about the applications. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to determine students' pre- and post- attitudes toward the biochemistry course. According to the results, problem quality played an important role in students' academic achievement. The decreased orientation role played by the tutor toward the end of the PBL process showed that students could find the necessary information by investigating themselves, and associate new information and experiences with their existing knowledge. Additionally, results of semi-structured interviews indicated that their skills in the areas of working collaboratively in a group, fulfilling responsibilities and expression of ideas in a group also improved. In conclusion, it can be argued that PBL as an active learning approach is very effective for formation of knowledge, improvement in social skills and interest in a biochemistry course.