Effects of Video Triggers on the PBL Process

  • Lap Ki Chan
  • Jingyan Lu
  • Mary S.M. Ip
  • Amber L.M. Yip
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 8)


In medical problem-based learning (PBL), video cases appear to be welcomed by students and facilitators. However, it has been proposed that junior medical students without much clinical experience may focus more on problem identification and description, and consequently less on problem exploration, which is more important in the learning of problem solving in PBL (Hmelo-Silver, Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235–266, 2004). In order to find out if this occurs, we recorded, transcribed and coded the PBL sessions of a group of students and a facilitator working on a paper case and then on a video case. It was found that in the video case, when compared to the paper case, the students spent more of their discussion on problem identification and less on problem description. The percentage of transcript units in problem identification and description was actually lower in the video-triggered case than in the paper-triggered case. Moreover, the percentage of transcript units in problem exploration was higher in the video-trigger case than in the paper-triggered case. In conclusion, there is no evidence to suggest that video triggers would act as a distraction to the learning of critical thinking and problem-solving skills even in junior medical students with little clinical experience.


Medical Student Problem Identification Critical Thinking Problem Description Real Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank the numerous teachers and patients involved in the production of the video triggers. We also thank Ms Carrie Wong Ka Yan for her time and effort spent on this project, and the editors and reviewers of this book for many helpful comments. This project is supported by the Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research and the University Strategic Research Theme of Sciences of Learning, both of The University of Hong Kong.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lap Ki Chan
    • 1
  • Jingyan Lu
    • 2
  • Mary S.M. Ip
    • 3
  • Amber L.M. Yip
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education and Department of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong
  3. 3.Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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