Effect of Two-month Problem-Based Learning Course on Self-directed and Conceptual Learning among Second Year Students in an Indian Medical College
Dr. Nachiket Shankar,
Professor, Department of Anatomy and Medical Education, St. Johnâ€™s Medical College, Bangalore-560034, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: A medical graduate is expected to fulfil the roles of a clinician, communicator, life-long learner, professional, leader and researcher. A Problem-Based Learning (PBL) course was introduced to enhance student skills in knowledge acquisition, problem-solving, clinical reasoning, communication, leadership, self-directed learning and working in teams.
Aim: To assess the effect of a two-month PBL course for second-year MBBS students on self-directed and conceptual learning.
Materials and Methods: The single group interventional study was conducted in the months of February and March 2017 at an urban private medical college in Southern India. Fifty-seven fourth semester MBBS students underwent a two-month PBL course, with two-hour sessions every week. The students were divided into eight groups, each with two faculty facilitators. Two problems, each with two triggers were discussed. The students completed a Self-Rating Scale of Self-Directed Learning (SRSSDL) before and immediately after the PBL course. At the end of each problem, students had to submit a Concept Map (CM) which was graded independently by two faculty. The mean and standard deviation of the pre and post-PBL SRSSDL scores was calculated. Differences in CM sub-scores were estimated using repeated measures ANOVA. Multiple regression analysis was used to estimate the strength of association between the CM scores and gender, attendance and tutor rating.
Results: The average post-PBL SRSSDL total and sub-scores were higher than the pre-PBL scores. The mean CM score obtained by the students was 11.3±2.9 (12.6±2.3 for female and 9.8±2.9 for male students, respectively). The layout and graphics scores were significantly higher than the scores for detail. The average attendance of the students was 6.3±1.2 and mean tutor rating was 50.4±9.4. Tutor rating and female gender showed significant positive associations with CM scores.
Conclusion: This study provides some evidence that a short-term PBL course positively influences self-directed and conceptual learning among undergraduate medical students.