Document Type

Unpublished Research Paper

Publication Date



Problem-based learning (PBL) has become a widespread method of teaching and learning around the world since the early 1970s. While several varieties of PBL are in use in many educational institutions, two primary models have taken root: the Aalborg model originating in Aalborg University, Denmark and the Maastricht model, originating in Maastricht University in The Netherlands. The two models both guide self-directed student learning under PBL principles, but they also have distinct differences. As developing PBL facilitators ourselves, we were particularly interested in understanding the role of the facilitator as it differs across the two models. Our goal for this semester was to understand and apply PBL theory and best practices in our own educational institutions. One of our challenges, however, was that we each had different experiences and expectations for the facilitator role. Our goal, then (or our problem statement) became to better understand the tutors’ experiences of the facilitator role in both models so we could best apply this understanding appropriately in our own institutions. Previous research in this area is limited, so this paper fills a gap in our own knowledge of PBL as well as adding to the existing literature.