Motivation to commit oneself as a determinant of achievement in problem-based learning
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Problem-based learning is a constructivist approach to professional education stressing the use of real life problems in education. Several previous attempts to understand the intricacies of learning in the problem-based context have led to a causal model, elements of which were tested in the present study. The focus of the investigation was on the students' motivation to commit themselves to studying in a problem-based health sciences curriculum, expressed in term of levels of attendance at tutorial meetings. Data were collected regarding functioning of the tutorial group, tutor functioning, level of prior knowledge, quality of the instructional problems, time spent on individual study, academic achievement and increased interest. These data were analyzed using a structural equations modeling approach. As hypothesized, commitment appears to be a potent determinant of achievement. In fact, it represents one of the strongest determinants of learning in the model tested.