PBL effects on careers?

I have a question that I could use some help with.  Does anyone know of research papers or published evidence that students from learner-centered and PBL based educational systems perform better in the job market?

This question is a result of a professor telling me about an article published in the veterinary medicine education field about case-based teaching that showed there was no difference in employment or job success for students coming from a case-based system versus a traditional didactic lecture system.  He couldn’t remember exactly when the paper was published or in what journal, but there had been a lot of discussion when it came out ~10yrs ago.  Apparently some vet colleges had tried moving to an entirely case-based approach and some moved back to hybrid or lecture based formats as a result.

I’ve tried looking for this paper or others similar to it however haven’t had much luck (I also haven’t spent weeks looking either).  Most of what I have found that compares PBL to traditional lecturing are tests of student’s satisfaction or skills while still in the education system.  I haven’t seen anything that looks at job acquisition, job performance evaluation, promotion – the long term effects.

You might be thinking that I’m looking for reasons to argue against PBL, but I am pro-PBL and case-based learning, particularly in medical fields where it fits so well.  However, as a scientist I am curious as to whether a PBL based education has long-term effects, and if so how those effects are manifest.  I realize that looking at the effects of PBL in a cohort of vet school graduates might not be so informative since that cohort is inherently made of bright, highly motivated students (due to extremely high competition for student positions in vet colleges).  I’d really like to know how this research was done, what metrics were used to evaluate the effectiveness of PBL, and what variables were or were not controlled for.  Basically I’m curious as to how strong the research is for and against PBL approaches.

If anyone knows of good resources, please do share them!

About Cat Cowan

2nd year DVM/PhD student at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Studying immunology, vet medicine and aiming to stay in academia.
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