Studentsâ€™ Perception and Preference of Problem Based Learning During Introductory Course of a Nepalese Medical School
Introductions: Problem based learning is considered superior to the
conventional didactic teaching for contextual learning, long term retention ofÂ knowledge, development of generic skill and attitudes. This study looked in toÂ the studentsâ€™ perception and preference of problem bases learning in a sixmonthÂ introductory course in the beginning of undergraduate medical schoolÂ program.
Methods: A 20-item questionnaire with four-point rating scale (1-strongly
disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Agree and 4-Strongly agree) was administered to collectÂ first year medical studentsâ€™ perception on problem based learning during firstÂ six month introductory course (June 2010 to November 2010) of first batchÂ of medical students. The questionnaire included 13-items for perception andÂ seven for preferences. It also had an open-ended comment section.
Results: Students showed positive reaction problem based learning
irrespective of gender or educational background in providing contextual
learning and retention of knowledge. Students agreed that it fostered genericÂ skills (communication, group work, critical thinking, reasoning, reflectivenessÂ and self-directed learning). Students wished for more such sessions in moreÂ subjects with short content assessment at the end of the sessions.
Conclusions: Problem based learning is fun, provides contextual learning
and imparts long term retention of knowledge through studentsâ€™ active
participation in a small group. It also promotes generic skills and self-directedÂ life-long learning.
Keywords: medical school, perception, problem based learning, students