To what extent can PBL principles be applied in blended learning: Lessons learned from health master programs

N. de Jong*, J. S. M. Krumeich, D. M. L. Verstegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction: Maastricht University has been actively exploring blended learning approaches to PBL in Health Master Programs. Key principles of PBL are, learning should be constructive, self-directed, collaborative, and contextual. The purpose is to explore whether these principles are applicable in blended learning.Methods: The programs, Master of Health Services Innovation (case 1), Master Programme in Global Health (case 2), and the Master of Health Professions Education (case 3), used a Virtual Learning Environment for exchanging material and were independently analyzed. Quantitative data were collected for cases 1 and 2. Simple descriptive analyses such as frequencies were performed. Qualitative data for cases 1 and 3 were collected via (focus group) interviews.Results: All PBL principles could be recognized in case 1. Case 2 seemed to be more project-based. In case 3, collaboration between students was not possible because of a difference in time-zones. Important educational aspects: agreement on rules for (online) sessions; visual contact (student-student and student-teacher), and frequent feedback.Conclusion: PBL in a blended learning format is perceived to be an effective strategy. The four principles of PBL can be unified in PBL with a blended learning format, although the extent to which each principle can be implemented can differ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017



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