Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Woei Hung


Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an evidence-based instructional approach designed to maximize one’s ability to use static knowledge as evidence for solving authentic problems (Barrows, 1986). Students have been observed as underprepared or skipping steps during the PBL process due to fatigue or low motivation (Czabanowska, Moust, Meijer, Schr��-B夫, & Robertson, 2012). This study considered the impact of the presentation of the PBL subject (i.e., the key character involved in the problem) on student motivation within the context of Speech and Voice Science curricula. The results of this mixed-methods study showed the frequency of engagement behaviors declined overall. Although engagement levels declined and fatigue appeared to play a role, most students identified the final problems designed with a combination of higher social presence (i.e., audio-visual, face-to-face interaction) and challenging content as the most motivating. Students were able to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for their problem-solving efforts, fostered by the direct interaction with the problem subject. This study also provides an example of a PBL implementation at the undergraduate level in Speech Language Pathology.