Publication Date

5-16-2007

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Christine Hooper

Second Advisor

Debrah Gaylle

Abstract

To facilitate the graduation of competent registered nurses, healthcare educators must create learning environments that foster content expertise, problem solving, collaboration, and refined learning skills. Although countless teaching strategies are in existence today, problem-based learning (PBL) has revealed noteworthy potential in healthcare education. In PBL, complex, reality-based problems are used as motivation for students to identify salient concepts, gather data, and ultimately work through posed problems. Considerable evidence supports the use of PBL as a method to promote learning, though examining knowledge alone cannot always assess actual behavioral performance. To ascertain the likelihood learned concepts would be utilized in practice, we can evaluate perceived self- efficacy. According to Bandura, self-efficacy is the degree to which an individual believes that a behavior can be successfully performed to produce a desired outcome. Information learned provides a foundation for performance to transpire, but in the absence of self-efficacy performance may not even be attempted. This study examined the relationship between PBL and perceived self-efficacy. Using a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design, self-efficacy was measured using Schwarzer and Jerusalem's General Self-Efficacy Scale. The study found that the perceived self-efficacy of undergraduate nursing students who participated in a PBL skills laboratory module were significantly higher than their counterparts who studied the same topic in a class not employing PBL.

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