Despite several years of successfully applying problem-based learning at Maastricht University, the Faculty of Medicine observed a slow erosion of problem-based practices and “PBL fatigue” among themselves and students. In response to this fatigue and new research into the development of the young adult brain, Active Self-Directed Learning was introduced through the new bachelor of European Public Health programme in an effort to re-energise the classical PBL model and reduce or eliminate erosion. ASDL is split into a four part learning cycle: 1) sensitisation, 2) exploration, 3) integration, and 4) application. The cycle supports problem-based learning and the developing minds of students through the integration of information, critical thinking and self-evaluation, while also teaching self-responsibility and team management skills. When applied as part of a problem-based learning curriculum, ASDL at Maastricht University helped reduce PBL fatigue and re-energised students’ interest in PBL within the first EPH cohort (2006-2009) according to survey feedback obtained after the 5th semester. The positive student response was tempered by recommendations on how to continue improving the ASDL model.
Czabanowska, K., Moust, J. H., Meijer, A. W., Schröder-Bäck, P., & Roebertsen, H. (2012). Problem-based Learning Revisited, introduction of Active and Self-directed Learning to reduce fatigue among students. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.53761/184.108.40.206