Research Projects
Student Knowledge Construction and Tutor Facilitation in Problem-Based Learning

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

To better prepare medical students to meet the needs of healthcare in the 21st century, medical education over the past decade has been undergoing radical curricular reform. Specifically, this has involved a shift away from traditional instructional models and towards competency-based medical education (CBME), focusing on student-centered, self-paced, and outcome-based instruction, and has a great emphasis on students' ability to apply learning resources and outcomes in a defined context) To respond to the call for competency-based education, problem-based learning (PBL) has been widely adopted in undergraduate medical education curricular with the aim to develop students' problem-solving, clinical reasoning, teamwork, and self-directed learning skills.

This project focuses on determining contributing factors to successful PBL from three levels: individual-, group-, and tutor-level, as well as exploring students' collaborative knowledge construction and tutors' facilitating skills during different stages of PBL. We plan to explore how students construct knowledge through different types of discourse moves by analyzing classroom video data, identify effective tutor moves that could scaffold student learning at different stages of student expertise, measure tutors' and students' role in PBL and how the social dynamics differ among different tutor and student experience, and develop a research-informed professional development program.

Dr B Zheng, Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education

 Dr Binbin Zheng is an associate professor in the Bau Institute of Medical and Health.


For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.