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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-51

Development of active learning modules in pharmacology for small group teaching


1 Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Professor and HOD, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Raakhi K Tripathi
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College Building, 1st Floor, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.161851

Background: Current teaching in pharmacology in undergraduate medical curriculum in India is primarily drug centered and stresses imparting factual knowledge rather than on pharmacotherapeutic skills. These skills would be better developed through active learning by the students. Hence modules that will encourage active learning were developed and compared with traditional methods within the Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai. Methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, 90 second year undergraduate medical students who consented were randomized into six sub-groups, each with 15 students. Pre-test was administered. The three sub-groups were taught a topic using active learning modules (active learning groups), which included problems on case scenarios, critical appraisal of prescriptions and drug identification. The remaining three sub-groups were taught the same topic in a conventional tutorial mode (tutorial learning groups). There was crossover for the second topic. Performance was assessed using post-test. Questionnaires with Likert-scaled items were used to assess feedback on teaching technique, student interaction and group dynamics. Results: The active and tutorial learning groups differed significantly in their post-test scores (11.3 ± 1.9 and 15.9 ± 2.7, respectively, P < 0.05). In students' feedback, 69/90 students had perceived the active learning session as interactive (vs. 37/90 students in tutorial group) and enhanced their understanding vs. 56/90 in tutorial group), aroused intellectual curiosity (47/90 students of active learning group vs. 30/90 in tutorial group) and provoked self-learning (41/90 active learning group vs. 14/90 in tutorial group). Sixty-four students in the active learning group felt that questioning each other helped in understanding the topic, which was the experience of 25/90 students in tutorial group. Nevertheless, students (55/90) preferred tutorial mode of learning to help them score better in their examinations. Discussion: In this study, students preferred an active learning environment, though to pass examinations, they preferred the tutorial mode of teaching. Further efforts are required to explore the effects on learning of introducing similar modules for other topics.


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