Student performance and their perception of a patient-oriented problem-solving approach with audiovisual aids in teaching pathology: a comparison with traditional lectures
Department of Pathology, Sri Venkateshwara Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Pondicherry, India
Purpose: We use different methods to train our undergraduates. The patient-oriented problem-solving (POPS) system is an innovative teaching–learning method that imparts knowledge, enhances intrinsic motivation, promotes self learning, encourages clinical reasoning, and develops long-lasting memory. The aim of this study was to develop POPS in teaching pathology, assess its effectiveness, and assess students’ preference for POPS over didactic lectures.
Method: One hundred fifty second-year MBBS students were divided into two groups: A and B. Group A was taught by POPS while group B was taught by traditional lectures. Pre- and post-test numerical scores of both groups were evaluated and compared. Students then completed a self-structured feedback questionnaire for analysis.
Results: The mean (SD) difference in pre- and post-test scores of groups A and B was 15.98 (3.18) and 7.79 (2.52), respectively. The significance of the difference between scores of group A and group B teaching methods was 16.62 (P < 0.0001), as determined by the z-test. Improvement in post-test performance of group A was significantly greater than of group B, demonstrating the effectiveness of POPS. Students responded that POPS facilitates self-learning, helps in understanding topics, creates interest, and is a scientific approach to teaching. Feedback response on POPS was strong in 57.52% of students, moderate in 35.67%, and negative in only 6.81%, showing that 93.19% students favored POPS over simple lectures.
Conclusion: It is not feasible to enforce the PBL method of teaching throughout the entire curriculum; However, POPS can be incorporated along with audiovisual aids to break the monotony of dialectic lectures and as alternative to PBL.
Keywords: medical education, problem-solving exercise, problem-based learning