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Impact of instructor-provided notes on the learning and exam performance of medical students in an organ system-based medical curriculum

Authors Gharravi AM

Received 27 April 2018

Accepted for publication 16 July 2018

Published 13 September 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 665—672


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Anneh Mohammad Gharravi

School of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran

Purpose: The present study aimed to explore the impact of instructor-provided notes on the learning and exam performance of medical students
Patients and methods: The participants involved in this study were the first year medical students who enrolled in the auditory system course in the second semester of the academic years 2012–2016 (N=380, 170 males and 210 females). The medical students were divided into two groups: teaching without guided note-taking approach and teaching with guided note-taking approach. To measure the note-taking process of students, quantity and quality of notes were recorded and scored. At the end of the course, the questionnaire was administered to all students in the experimental group in order to cover student’s satisfaction with the instructor-provided notes. Chi-squared tests using SPSS software were performed on categorical variables for comparison of exam score between classes with/without guided note-taking approach. A P<0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Results: When compared, more females (75%) than males were included in the note-taking process. Females wrote more information in greater detail than males. In the control group, only 58 students from 193 students attempted to take notes, but in the experimental group, all of the students were encouraged to complete guided notes and take notes. When students were provided with guided notes, the structure of their notes reflected more outline, examples, verbatim and words than the control group. The students connected the main idea with their details in the spaces of the guided notes. The course final exam performance for the class with the guided note-taking approach was statistically significantly higher than that for the class without a guided note-taking approach (χ2) = 10.542; P=0.023). Nearly all of the students agreed to receive instructor-provided notes before class.
Conclusions: Findings of the present study indicated that when students are provided with guided notes, their note-taking process develops; consequently improving students’ learning and exam performance.

Keywords: instructor-provided notes, note taking, anatomy, learning, curriculum, education

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