Professional education of psychologists using online problem-based learning methods: Experience at Charles Sturt University


School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia. E-mail:


Abstract: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach to professional training that emphasises the development of clinical reasoning skills and self-directed learning. In contrast to more traditional lecture-based approaches that focus upon the linear acquisition of course content, PBL is undertaken in the context of actual case presentations. Although PBL has been adopted widely in the professional training of medical practitioners and nurses, it is only just beginning to be used in the professional education of psychologists. This paper examines the nature and benefits of PBL for education in clinical and forensic psychology by outlining its implementation and development at Charles Sturt University, located in a rural area of Australia. Although a full and independent evaluation of PBL for education in clinical or forensic psychology is yet to be undertaken, this paper argues that PBL can make a significant contribution to professional training in psychology.