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Original Research

Comparison of case-based learning and traditional lectures in physiology among first year undergraduate medical students

Jasmin S Diwan; Chinmay J Shah; Saurin J Sanghavi; Amit M Shah.

Background: Physiology is basic and applied medical science. The traditional system of teaching in physiology is teacher cantered with minimal participation from the students. Case-based learning (CBL) is a self-directed learning method based on instruction by the use of stories about individuals. It is a student-centered learning. It is helpful to improve the students’ scores in knowledge-based and clinical application-based examination.

Aims and Objectives: Objectives were to introduce CBL as an innovative teaching/learning (T/L) method in physiology and to evaluate its impact on learners and faculty.

Materials and Methods: Two groups’ crossover study was done in 26 first year MBBS students. Cases of hyperglycemia and hypothyroidism were identified and taught in tutorial as traditional and CBL as self-directed learning methods. Evaluation was done by pre-post multiple choice question tests. Feedback of the faculties and learners were taken.

Results: Comparing pre-post difference in the marks in CBL and tutorial methods in both the groups - no significance difference observed in Group A (P = 0.170), significant difference in Group B (P = 0.003) were observed, so CBL as better T/L method only in the Group B and not in Group A. Learners agreed that CBL helps them in achievement of learning objectives, increase in the interest, integration of topic, better interaction with instructors.

Conclusion: CBL can be used as an adjunct to the lectures to strengthen traditional T/L methods through active learning. It stimulates the desire to learn, develop clinical reasoning.

Key words: Case-based Learning;Lectures;Physiology;Teaching/Learning Methodology

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