Combination of didactic lectures and case-oriented problem-solving tutorials toward better learning: perceptions of students from a conventional medical curriculum.Adv Physiol Educ. 2007 Jun; 31(2):193-7.AP
The Department of Physiology of Pramukhswami Medical College at Anand, Gujarat, India, started using problem-based learning in a modified way along with didactic lectures to improve students' understanding and motivate them toward self-directed study. After the didactic lectures were taken for a particular system, clearly defined short clinical problems related to that system were given to the students in the tutorial classes. Each tutor was assigned three to four groups of five to six students each. Problems were accompanied with relevant questions so as to streamline the thought processes of the first-year undergraduates. The tutor then facilitated the study process, and the students discussed among themselves to derive their solutions. At the end of the sessions, feedback was taken from the students through a planned questionnaire on a three-point scale. Of a total of 278 students over a span of 3 yr from 1999 to 2002, 74.4% of students favored a judicious mixture of didactic lectures and case-oriented problem solving in tutorial classes to be an efficient modality in understanding a system under study, and 84% of students stated the mixture of didactic lectures and case-oriented problem solving to be beneficial in relating a clinical condition to the basic mechanism; 82% of students believed that this module helped with better interactions among their batch mates, and 77.2% of students hoped to perform better in the university examination due to this new teaching/learning modality. They also expressed that this gave them ample motivation to do self-directed learning. It may therefore be concluded from the results of the present study that it is possible to have a problem-based learning module in the form of case-oriented problem-solving tutorials coexistent with the traditional didactic lecture module in the first year of medical education under a conventional curriculum.