Many studies have shown that PBL students experience greater motivation toward learning than their traditional counterparts (Hwang & Kim, 2006; Beachey, 2007, Rogal & Snider, 2008). Further PBL has been associated with greater satisfaction in the learning process by physicians than its traditional counterpart (Beachey, 2007; Op't Holt, 2000; Rogal & Snider, 2008). Evaluations of PBL programs have found that not only do students take pleasure in the process, they also believe that they have the capacity to out perform their peers from traditional curricula in clinical settings (Op't Holt, 2005; Kaufman & Mann, 1996). Studies have shown that the teaching method has little bearing on the learning of academically talented students (Hwang & Kim, 2006; Distlehorst, Dawson, Robbs, & Barrows, 2005; Op't Hoyt, 2005). In fact it has been proposed that the positive impact observed of PBL on motivation may come from these academically talented individuals rather than the intervention itself (Hwang & Kim, 2006). GPAs and demographic characteristics were not found to be correlated to PBL (Ceconi et al., 2008).
White et al. (2004) found in a study regarding that PBL was not shown to be superior to other learning styles in assisting students to acquire or retain knowledge regarding asthma management. This finding is consistent with the majority of research that has not found greater knowledge acquisition or retention amongst PBL students vs. traditional teaching methods (Albanese, 2000; Beers, 2005; Rogal & Snider, 2008). However, it is not that PBL produces inferior results, most studies have found that there are no significant differences between PBL students and those from traditional curricula on standardized knowledge tests (Beachey, 2007). Beers (2005) points out that one would expect significant improvement in clinical knowledge and performance in order to advocate for the use of PBL in the classroom due to the extensive resources that are required to utilize PBL curricula.
One would expect that PBL students would be at a significant advantage over their traditional peers due to the clinical application in the classroom (Colliver, 2000). Some