Tutor Experiences with Facilitating Interprofessional Problem-Based Learning

Lisa Margaret Jewell, Marcel D'Eon, Nora McKee, Peggy Proctor, Krista Trinder


Background: This article describes tutors’ experiences with facilitating interprofessional problem-based learning (iPBL), a topic rarely discussed in the literature. We examined tutors’ perceptions of what it was like to tutor iPBL, including the rewarding and challenging aspects. We also reported differences between new and experienced tutors.

Methods and Findings: The data presented in this article were collected using three versions of a paper-and-pencil survey (N = 77, N = 99, and N = 97 for each version of the survey, respectively) and six focus groups. Surveys were completed at the conclusion of iPBL modules. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated that tutors found the experience of facilitating iPBL to be rewarding and encountered few challenges. Tutors felt the training they received prepared them well to tutor. They also felt that facilitating iPBL increased their knowledge in the topic area of the iPBL module and of other professional roles, that it enhanced their skills as facilitators, and that they enjoyed observing students learn. New tutors reported significantly more learning and skill development than experienced tutors.

Conclusions: Four lessons were derived from our research: 1) use iPBL to offer IPE; 2) invest in tutor training and support; 3) help tutors trust the process; and 4) consider tutor recruitment and retention strategies.


Interprofessional education; problem-based learning; tutors; facilitation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/jripe.2013v3n2a100