Problem Based Learning in biomedical teaching: Next editions

Problem Based Learning in biomedical teaching: Next editions

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a learning method in line with the directives of the creation the European Higher Education Area and the approach of the Bologna Declaration, which require that the teaching-learning process facilitates the development of skills, so that students are more autonomous in managing learning. This teaching-learning process focusing on the student, underlines  self-directed learning, where the student  plays the leading role in the process and is not a passive receiver of teaching given by a professor.

The starting point of PBL is a case that enables students to develop explanatory hypotheses, to identify learning needs to better understand the problem and to meet the learning targets set by the institution. An additional step is to identify the principles related to the knowledge acquired, which can be applied to other situations.

The Esteve Foundation has wide experience in organizing training seminars in biomedical fields. Several previous courses also reaffirm its experience in PBL training.

This course aims to provide participants the opportunity of starting in Problem-Based Learning Strategy, and it is offered to everyone interested in starting this active teaching system.


What is problem-based learning?
Concept. Historic aspects. Basic elements: the problem, the tutor, the tutoring group and assessment. PBL as an educational philosophy and a teaching method. PBL compared to the case method and the clinical case. Advantages and disadvantages of PBL. Myths, realities and limitations.

Experiences with PBL in health sciences
Background of PBL as a teaching method: the experience of the Faculty of Medicine of the UAB and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences of the UPF. The use of PBL in mixed syllabus: the case of Integrated Medicine in the UAB-UPF Medicine Degree and the Master Degree of the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry of the UPF.

Strategies for starting PBL as a teaching method
How to start: choosing the framework of action, the teaching targets, the tutors. Definition of critical elements: texts, tutoring and assessment groups. The most frequent problems encountered at the start and how to solve them.

Writing problems
Types of problems. The elements of problems: educational targets, drawing up the scenario, definition of the problem, the tutor’s guidelines. How to write suitable problems for each scenario. Reading and analysis of problems.

The dynamics of tutoring groups
In order to gain direct experience of a tutoring session, participants in the course will form a group of students facing the need to solve problems put forward by the tutor. The most significant aspects of the case will be identified, discussed and solved.


Josep-Eladi Baños
Doctor in Medicine (1988) from the UAB and specialist in clinical pharmacology from Hospital Clínic of Barcelona (1986). Research and teaching in France, Canada and United States. Guest professor of Universidad de Chile (2003) and McMaster University (2007). Associate professor of Bloomberg School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University (2009-2011). Professor of pharmacology at the UAB (1985-2002) and currently at the UPF (since 2002). His current research in the field of education is focused on active learning models, basically in the application of problem-based learning and the use of films and literature in teaching biomedical sciences. He is also working on the implementation of new models to assess clinical skills, and on the design of strategies to improve humanistic training and professionalism in medical students. He has received several awards for teaching quality in his collective modality, such as the third national award for educational research and innovation from the Ministry of Education and Science (2006), and four Vicens-Vives awards for teaching innovation from the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Regional Government) (2005, 2009, 2013, 2015). He has recently published, together with Mar Carrió and Luis Branda, El aprendizaje basado en problemas en sus textos. Ejemplos de su empleo en biomedicina (2013). (Problem-based learning in texts. Examples of use in biomedicine)

Mª del Mar Carrió
Doctor in Biology, professor of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and member of the educational research group in health sciences (GRECS). She is currently coordinator of the Master degree of secondary natural science teacher training, and lecturer of problem-based learning subjects of the human biology degree. She was associate professor of Microbiology at the science faculty of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Escola Politècnica Superior of Universitat de Vic. Since 2005 she has been involved in teaching innovation and educational research. Her current research is focused on the use of problem-based learning in biosciences. She has given several teaching training courses on problem-based learning at different universities. She received the award to education innovation in 2007 from the Ministry of Education and Science, for the work, Introduction of PBL in the biology degree of the UPF, carried out with other members of GRECS, and the individual award to teaching quality of the UPF in 2013.


• This course aims to provide participants the opportunity of starting in Problem-Based Learning Strategy, and it is offered offer to everyone interested in starting this active teaching system..
• The seminar is from 9 am to 6 pm.
• Registration includes all documentation of the seminar, coffee breaks and working lunch. Both accommodation and travelling expenses will be covered by participants.
• The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 30 places.
• Owing to the nature of the seminar, registration not only implies the active participation of attendants and the commitment to attend all the sessions, but also maximum punctuality so as not to affect the dynamics of groups.
• A certificate of attendance will be given to each participant.

Next editions:

• Barcelona, February, 22-23

Full course

Collaborating institutions: Idiap Jordi Gol

• Málaga, June, 20-21

Coming soon

Collaborating institutions: Universidad de Málaga