Beyond PBL: Using New Spaces and Learning Design to Improve Student Outcomes

Nicole Mitchell, Educational Designer & Lecturer in Marketing; Phillip Ebbs,* Department of Paramedicine; Samantha Burbidge, Department of Paramedicine, Charles Sturt University, Australia


Many universities seek to deliver an authentic learning experience for students by utilizing a Problem Based Learning (PBL) model. Over three years, we redesigned a paramedic pharmacology subject using PBL concepts and, in doing so, found we had journeyed beyond established PBL models. The new approach uses several different student experiences and learning spaces to implement PBL, including collaborative, research, simulation, online and off-campus spaces. Initial data also suggest high levels of student satisfaction. The “multi-space” approach to PBL subject would be suitable for further rigorous evaluation of the educational design and outcomes.

Keywords: paramedic, problem-based learning (PBL), experiential learning, pharmacology

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