Higher Education Authority position paper (2009) and the Hunt Report (2010) specify the changes that need to occur within Higher Education in Ireland over the next twenty years. Within nurse education teaching and learning approaches have to mirror the demands and complexities of practice as well as meeting educational authorities¿ requirements. Barrett and Moore (2011) suggest problem-based learning (PBL) offers students the opportunity to connect theory and practice in preparation for practice on graduation. This case study evaluates student and lecturer feedback regarding a nursing module where two active learning approaches are merged. The PBL approach stimulated curiosity and critical thinking as well as enhancing the learning experience. Students reported PBL gave them greater confidence in researching real life problems. Learners effectively used key informatic resources to inform the problem and thereby discovered various ways to manage the clinical problem. Students appreciated the opportunity to discuss the dimensions to the problem in group with peers and lecturers. In turn the optimum solution for their patient case was identified prior to simulation in our state of the art Clinical Skills Simulation Centre. Lecturers identified `Resisting the urge to teach¿ and `Getting to grips with PBL process¿ as the challenging aspects of the approach. However lecturers were encouraged by witnessing individual creativity and student understanding in learning. Thus pedagogical approaches such as PBL fostered a learning-centered approach to education. Promoting such approaches stimulate intellectual curiosity and life-long learning.
Terry Barrett and Sarah Moore (2010) New Approaches to Problem-based Learning, a guide to the design, development and support of PBL in higher education. New York; Routledge
Higher Education Authority (2009) Open and Flexible Learning Position Paper November http://www.hea.ie/webfm_send/2555 accessed on 16th September 2010
Hunt, C. (2010) National Strategy for Higher Education, Draft Report of the Strategy Group. Dublin. Strategy Group for Higher Education.