We investigated whether problem-based learning (PBL) can foster conceptual change. Students were randomly assigned to a PBL, lecture-based, or self-study group, all receiving instruction about the topic of Newtonian laws. Conceptual change was measured from pre- to immediate post-test (directly after instruction) and from immediate post-test to delayed post-test after one week. Results showed that the PBL-group outperformed both the lecture and the self-study group on the immediate post-test. This result supported the hypothesis that PBL can increase the likelihood of conceptual change. The PBL group also outperformed both other groups at the delayed post-test after one week; the decline in conceptual change from immediate to delayed post-test was similar for all three groups. Findings are discussed in terms of cognitive engagement.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cognitive engagement, Complex problems, Conceptual change, Problem-based learning
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.03.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/81317
Journal Learning and Instruction
Citation
Loyens, S.M.M, Jones, S.H, Mikkers, J, & van Gog, T.A.J.M. (2015). Problem-based learning as a facilitator of conceptual change. Learning and Instruction, 38, 34–42. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.03.002