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Table 6 Facilitator perceptions of their ability to undertake certain tasks during the small group tutorials(1 = ineffective 2 = weak 3 = satisfactory 4 = good 5 = excellent; P = 0.05).

From: What can we learn from facilitator and student perceptions of facilitation skills and roles in the first year of a problem-based learning curriculum?

  Level of experience  
Facilitator ability to No facilitation (n= 8) Facilitated once (n= 8) Facilitated > 1 (n= 17) All facilitators (n= 33)
Ask probing questions to get students to think about issues relating to the case 4.4 ± 0.26 3.8 ± 0.31 4.1 ± 0. 13 4.1 ± 0.12
Encourage students to clarify their ideas 4.3 ± 0.16 a 3.8 ± 0.16 b 4.0 ± 0.2 ab 4.0 ± 0.09
Encourage students to examine new ideas 4.4 ± 0.18 a 3.6 ± 0.26 b 3.9 ± 0.12 c 3.9 ± 0.11
Point out inconsistencies in their explanations 3.5 ± 0.50 3.5 ± 0.33 3.7 ± 0.19 3.6 ± 0.17
Get students to effectively brainstorm hypotheses 4.6 ± 0.18 a 3.9 ± 0.13 b 4.0 ± 0.19 bc 4.1 ± 0.12
Encourage students to utilise their prior experience to the benefit of the group 4.6 ± 0.18 a 3.3 ± 0.16 b 4.2 ± 0.14 ac 4.1 ± 0.13
Encourage all group members to contribute 4.6 ± 0.18 4.0 ± 0.33 4.1 ± 0.20 4.2 ± 0.14
Support each member of the group 4.5 ± 0.19 3.9 ± 0.35 3.9 ± 0.23 4.1 ± 0.16
Ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute 4.8 ± 0.16 a 3.9 ± 0.30 b 4.2 ± 0.15 bc 4.2 ± 0.12
Encourage students to extend themselves beyond the learning objectives (i.e. instill in them that knowledge is not finite or can change) 4.6 ± 0.18 a 3.8 ± 0.25 b 4.0 ± 0.21 ab 4.1 ± 0.14
Test for agreement between group members 3.6 ± 0.32 3.5 ± 0.27 3.9 ± 0.17 3.7 ± 0.13
Encourage students to read widely 4.6 ± 0.18 a 3.6 ± 0.26 b 3.8 ± 0.16 bc 3.9 ± 0.13
Summarise the progress of the group 4.0 ± 0.38 3.6 ± 0.26 3.8 ± 0.18 3.8 ± 0.14