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Shipra Jain
Archana Paliwal
Gopal Kashyap
Mohammed Shoaib


Pharmacology, Case based learning, effectiveness, perception, questionnaire, undergraduate students


Background: The teaching and learning of Pharmacology is challenging. Traditional teaching-learning methods are inadequate to understand the basic concepts and the clinical application of Pharmacology thus there is a need to explore alternative methods. With the advent of Competency based medical education, there has been a paradigm shift towards newer methods of teaching and learning. Case based learning (CBL) is an innovative method of teaching and learning which ensures better understanding of the subject and promotes independent and deeper learning.

Aim & Objectives: The present study was conducted with the aim to evaluate the effectiveness of CBL as a teaching learning method. The objectives of the study were to compare the effectiveness of CBL with didactic lectures in terms of knowledge gained and to analyse the perception of the second-year undergraduate students towards CBL as a teaching learning method.

Methodology: The study was conducted on 90 students of second year MBBS in the department of Pharmacology after obtaining written informed consent. Ethical approval was obtained before starting the study. The students were divided into 2 groups of 45 students each – Didactic lecture (DDL) group and Case based learning (CBL) group. The CBL group was further subdivided into 3 subgroups of 15 students each. The study was conducted in 8 sessions for 4 topics (2 sessions for each topic). Crossover among the groups was done for the subsequent topics. The topics for the study included Anti-ulcer drugs, Anti-asthmatic drugs, Anti-hypertensive drugs and Anti-tubercular drugs. The knowledge gained by the students was assessed by scores obtained in pretest and post test questionnaire in both the groups and paired t test was applied. Unpaired t test was applied for comparison between the scores obtained in post-test questionnaire of both teaching learning methods. At the end of 8th session, the perception of all the students towards CBL was assessed by using a 5-point Likert scale. The scores obtained in Likert scale were analyzed and Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to check the internal consistency.

 Results: There was significant difference in the post test scores of the CBL group as compared to DDL group (p value <0.001). Cronbach’s alpha value for Likert scale was 0.873 which showed good internal consistency of the items used for the questionnaire. 82.21% of students agreed that CBL helped in better understanding of the topic, 80% of students agreed that CBL improved their learning skills and 73.32% of students agreed that CBL will improve their performance in the examination.

Conclusion: Case based learning improved the academic performance of the students. The students perceived CBL as a welcome step and a better alternative to didactic lectures in terms of deeper understanding of the topic, clinical correlation, improvement in learning skills and also aroused their interest in the subject.

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