Problem-based Learning and Problem-solving Skills: The Mediating Role of Perceived Satisfactions of Needs

29 Dec 2015

This study examines how student teachers’ perceived satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness needs mediate the relationship between PBL experience and problem-solving skills. A total of 303 student teachers doing a PBL-based Educational Psychology course at NIE, Singapore, participated in the study. The student teachers were administered a set of items assessing their PBL experience, satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness) and problem-solving skills. Results showed significant mediation of student teachers’ perceived satisfaction of relatedness and competence needs in linking their PBL experience to problem-solving skills. Findings suggest that PBL fosters the development of problem-solving skills through the satisfaction of basic psychological needs. This finding holds an applied implication that PBL curriculum designers and facilitators should start viewing PBL in terms of how the environment could be designed to facilitate the satisfaction of psychological needs in order to maximise desired learning outcomes such as problem-solving skills.

For more information about this project or research collaborations, please contact Dr. Chua Bee Leng at