Problem Based Learning (PBL or as I like to refer to them peeble) groups are a way of actively learning about topics in education, rather than being lectured at and passively absorbing the information.
Benefits are you’re more engaged with the learning and so it’s more interesting, and you gain transferable MDT skills in working together on an issue with colleagues. If the PBL sessions are organised in a structured way it can also help you to structure your approach to discovering or solving the issue. Related to groupwork with clients, they can also be a chance to practice or observe group dynamics in real life in a ‘safe’ environment, and to practice your facilitator skills. Finally, as an OT student you could also use them as a CPD entry: write a reflection on the experience related to the previous points and whack it in the ol’ folio.
Some examples of how you can evidence a PBL/study group as CPD learning:
- An email invitation to the meeting, an outline of the session, an action plan from the session, with a subsequent update can be recorded and stored in your CPD portfolio (HCPC standard= Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities)
- Participation in an action learning set demonstrates you are taking personal responsibility for your learning beyond ‘traditional’ methods e.g. attending courses (HCPC standard= Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice)
The COT has produced some documents which have guidelines for helping you do group based learning (like PBLs or article review groups etc). They have some helpful questions to ask to keep discussions on the topic at hand, and not let it dissolve into someone describing in detail how it happened to them this one time, and everyone else glazing over .