PBL tutors in medical schools worldwide are a diverse population of faculty (subject-expertise, employment status and tutoring experience). Tutors often receive a common initial training program followed by structured support. This study aims to understand tutor motivation, challenges and support needed, the relationship between them, and whether a common training and support program is understood as effective. Tutor data (n =50) were analyzed based on age, gender, background, experience, employment status and campus location. The study revealed evidence that a challenge for tutors is what disrupts their motivation. Thus, a relevant support mechanism is needed to reestablish or maintain this motivation. Specifically, the motivator “interaction with students” correlated with challenges “management of group dynamics,” “student adherence with PBL rules,” and “professional behavior of students”; while motivator “educational value of PBL” correlated with “student adherence with PBL rules,” “professional behavior of students,” and “student information and expectations of PBL”. Furthermore, tutors benefited from peer reviews and opportunities to provide feedback while their needs diverged in terms of content and assessment-related support, motivation and management of group dynamics. Thus, implementation of a framework for restructuring the tutor support system is necessary paving the way for an individualized support system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2021


  • collaborative instruction
  • faculty training and development
  • PBL tutors
  • problem-based learning
  • tutor diversity


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