How COVID-19 Transformed Problem-Based Learning at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Carle Illinois College of Medicine is creating an innovative model for medical education that integrates engineering principles into an active learning curriculum. At the Carle Illinois due to the state order of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, students were mandated to terminate in-person instruction. The goal of this work is to show the pros and cons of online versus in person Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions. In the online environment, the sessions tend to run slower since we need to pause to allow time for people to speak and others to understand. There is more risk for students to become distracted by increased screen-time and access. Thus, the facilitator has a greater role in keeping the students engaged and focused while managing time. Despite these differences, we found that overall student performance with respect to generating and researching learning issues was similar between online and in-person PBL sessions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1354
Number of pages2
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • in person
  • online
  • problem-based learning
  • medical education
  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Pandemic
  • coronavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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