Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered, self-directed and collaborative learning method. The implementation of problem-based learning started in 1969 and has spread since then throughout different parts of the world with variations in its implementation. In spite of its growth and advantages, there is continuing debate about its effectiveness over the conventional teaching learning methods. In Dubai Pharmacy College (DPC), the Bachelor pharmacy program follows 4-year integrated curriculum. The instructional delivery uses traditional lectures, tutorials, quiz, tests and exams and recently implemented PBL since 2008. This study was to explore the perception of DPC students about PBL sessions. Objective: The objectives of the study were: (i) To facilitate the development of key professional competencies and (ii) To identify problems associated with implementation of the program and attempt to provide solutions with new learning tools. Methodology: The students’ perception was examined and assessed using a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. Results: This questionnaire based cross sectional descriptive study was carried out on 170 out of 202 (84.1 %) who participated in PBL sessions. DPC found PBL session interesting and beneficial. Most students reported their participation in discussion during PBL sessions but the level of participation varied. Some of them worked hard to prepare themselves for discussion while others were relatively passive. Conclusion: PBL helped them with in-depth understanding of certain topics and link their basic science knowledge to clinical classes. They felt that guidance from subject specialists and well prepared facilitators of the sessions were beneficial. The students believed that repetition of triggers from year to year discouraged their active search for learning issues. Majority of the students were undecided or disagreed about the availability of adequate learning resources for their self-study. Reviewing and renewing the PBL triggers, providing guidelines for searching for resource materials and briefing the students and facilitators about the philosophy and principles of principles of PBL sessions more beneficial.
Key words: Dubai Pharmacy College, Students Perception, Problem-Based Learning Session, Pharmacy.