Parama Sengupta1, Abhishek Sharma2, Nina Das1
1Department of Pharmacology, NRS Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
2Department of Pathology, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Purpose: Computer-assisted learning (CAL) tools are often used in medical education as it can complement conventional teaching formats and as an alternative to animal experiments in undergraduate medical students. To identify if there is any benefit of integrating CAL tools with conventional teaching format in pharmacology for a specific topic. Materials and Method: Two groups of fourth semester students, Group I (n = 55) and Group II (n = 60), were taught a specific topic in pharmacology using only conventional teaching format (Group I), and both conventional teaching format as well as CAL format (EP Dog version 1.1.0) (Group II). The students were assessed with two different sets of multiple-choice questions, relevant to the topic taught, immediately at the end of the teaching sessions and after 30 days. Acceptability of the two teaching sessions by the students was also assessed using Likert scale. Results: There was no significant difference in the scores of the students of the two groups immediately after teaching (P = 0.1260), there is definitely better residual knowledge reflected by the significantly (P = 0.001) better test scores of the Group II students after 30 days in comparison to Group I students. However, there was no significant difference with regard to the acceptability of the CAL teaching format alone and along with the conventional teaching format between the two groups (P = 0.6033). Conclusion: Integrating CAL with conventional teaching format improves students’ understanding and performance for a specific topic.
Keywords: Computer-assisted learning, Likert scale, medical education, pharmacology.ax