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Pre-directed problem-based learning as tool for teaching clinical problems in first professional MBBS students

Sangita Chauhan, Manjinder Kaur, Suman Sharma, Anish Singhal, Naren Kurmi, Saroj Chaudhary.


Background: In a typical problem-based learning (PBL), the learning objectives are not shared with the learner when the PBL exercise is given to them. This student’s unawareness of predefined objectives might be a significant hindrance in directing the student’s effort in the appropriate direction.

Aim and Objective: The present study was designed with an aim to develop and validate a modification in existing PBL in the form of pre-directed PBL (PD-PBL), where the learning objectives and outcomes are shared with the learner at the time of giving the exercise.

Materials and Methods: The present study was designed as a prospective observational study in the Department of Physiology of Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital. One hundred forty-three students from 1st-year MBBS participated in the study. A PBL session was planned for a clinical problem of respiratory physiology. The learning objectives and the questions to determine the learning outcome were prepared. Students were given 1-week time for analysis of the problem. At the end of 1 week, a large group presentation and discussion session were planned. The faculty members and a respiratory physician were assigned the task of being observers. Later, students and faculty feedback were taken.

Results: Analysis of feedback pointed that PD-PBL session was helpful in understanding the clinical condition with the help of basic physiology.

Conclusion: PD-PBL would be helpful in correlating the knowledge of basic subject with the clinical scenario. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of PD-PBL sessions in other subjects.

Key words: Problem-based Learning; Learning Objectives; Analytical Skill; Pre-directed Problem-based Learning

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