David S. Mandeville Tiffanie K. Ho Lindy A. Valdez Lindy A. Valdez


Purpose:  The aim of this study was to ascertain the effect of Problem Based Learning (PBL) on student oral communication competency gains. Methods:  Eighty students from two consecutive undergraduate Kinesiology courses (Spring semesters, 2014-15) formed into 29 small groups and were studied.  Oral communication competency was assessed using a customized rubric and digital recordings of student presentations.  Changes to oral communication competency across time were tested using a dependent t-test; a < .05. Results:  Significant inter-rater agreement was found at both time points for oral communication rating, and student groups demonstrated significant oral communication gains across time.  Conclusions:  Collaborative learning was shown to improve students’ oral communication competency. Future study is required to determine the influence of student motivation and goal orientation on oral communication competency, in relation to the various phases of knowledge creation occurring within student groups.