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A comparison of computer assisted learning and practical animal experiment for undergraduate medical students in pharmacology curriculum - a questionnaire based study conducted in a medical college of North India

Diwanshu Sharma, Pavan Malhotra.

Abstract
Background: The practical sessions in pharmacology training involving animal experiments were perceived to be unnecessary as the learning objectives of these practical sessions primarily focus on observational, analytical and interpretative skills. A number of computer simulation and other models have been recommended for use as alternatives to use of animals for medical education. In this study, we compared Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) with practical animal experiments for medical undergraduates based on questionnaire. The objective of the study was to compare Computer Assisted Learning and practical animal experiments for medical undergraduates in pharmacology curriculum.
Methods: This was a questionnaire based observational study involving 300 medical undergraduates and eighteen faculty members. It included two systems i.e. CAL and conventional animal experiments. A separate questionnaire was prepared for the faculty members.
Results: Results showed that CAL has nearly replaced the practical laboratory experiments as far as the medical undergraduate training is concerned. All the students and teachers believed that CAL is better and more understandable than animal experiments done practically.
Conclusions: It is concluded that CAL is a better source of experimentation at the undergraduate level and provides dependable outcomes.

Key words: Computer assisted learning, Medical undergraduates, Practical animal experiments


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