Academic Performance in University Students in Morphological Science Courses: Use of Active Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

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Ortega-Cortez, A.; Espinoza-Navarro, O.; Ortega, A. & Brito- Hernández, L.


University education seeks to develop professional skills and capacities for autonomous learning. Active learning methodologies, centered on students, such as problem- based learning (PBL), could be very useful in improving academic performance in Basic Sciences courses in health and medical students. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of the use of the active problem-based learning methodology on the academic performance of university students who take morpho-biological courses in the Kinesiology and Obstetrics degree programs. From a total of 500 students who entered the first years of health degrees at the University of Tarapacá (academic year 2018), 100 students (over 18 years of age) were selected, separating as a control or non-intervened group (n = 50) to Obstetrics students and intervened group, with application of ABP (n = 50), students of the Kinesiology degree program. The study lasted 24 school weeks. The results show that the intervened group significantly improved academic performance, with 98 % approval and a final evaluation of 5.9. The control group achieved 84 % approval and a final evaluation of 4.8. It is concluded that the use of the active PBL methodology significantly improves the academic performance of health sciences students who take morpho-biological subjects and that activities with direct participation through questionnaires and group and individual scientific presentations, allow the student be their own agent of change in the educational assessment processes. It is suggested to implement this type of active methodologies in regular courses, also considering the psychological factors of learning.

KEY WORDS: University Education; TICs; Arica-Chile; Curricular Innovation.

How to cite this article

ORTEGA-CORTEZ, A.; ESPINOZA-NAVARRO, O.; ORTE- GA, A. & BRITO- HERNÁNDEZ, L. Academic performance in university students in morphological science courses: Use of active problem-based learning (PBL). Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):401-406, 2021.