Experiential Learning in Epidemiology for Medical Undergraduates: A Mixed-Method Approach JC07-JC12
Dr. Meenakshi Khapre,
Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh-249203, Uttarakhnad, India.
Introduction: Experiential learning assumes learning to be a continuous process and learner enters in the process according to his preferable learning style. Considering the complex nature of epidemiology and loss of interest in students due to age-old traditional lecturing, it has been only limited to complete the course by just memorising without getting insight into its utilisation in real life.
Aim: To assess the effectiveness of teaching epidemiology using experiential learning method in developing interest, improved level of satisfaction and better competency in basic epidemiology among undergraduate students exposed to experiential learning than those exposed to traditional lecture.
Materials and Methods: A mixed method design for an educational intervention consisting of a new teaching approach i.e., experiential learning was planned. After selection of topic, the module was prepared followed by an orientation to facilitators and student in new teaching methodology. The module was completed in 12 sessions, two hours per session. The students went through all the four stages of the Kolb cycle depending on the topic. Students were later given the Multiple Choice Questions (recall and higher order level) and satisfaction questionnaire and told to reflect on learning. Another batch was exposed to traditional lectures (20 hours) and given MCQ’s at the end. The learning outcome was assessed by nonparametric test i.e., Mann-Whitney U test. Satisfaction with new methodology was analysed by proportion.
Results: Students developed an interest in learning epidemiology as depicted through their written reflections. All the students showed a high level of satisfaction. Student exposed to experiential learning scored much higher than those exposed to lecture more so on higher-order questions.
Conclusion: Experiential education activities provide an effective alternative for teaching epidemiology to medical undergraduates.