Purpose of study :
Interactive and creative learning makes medical education interesting. Medical students are introduced to many concepts in short time.
The aim of study was to see practicality of using crossword puzzle as an interactive and creative learning tool for undergraduates. To determine usefulness of crossword puzzle as an effective way to reinforce essential concepts and vocabulary.
Crosswords were formulated and content validity ensured, by linking the clues and answers to specific learning objectives. Words pertinent to topic were included. Approved abbreviations used. The clues were clear and concise. They were completed by the students in collaborative groups of 3-4 with a reward for the first group who successfully complete the puzzle. Fifteen minutes was allotted for 25-30 clues of puzzle. Student perceptions (117) towards crosswords for their learning were done with a survey using 12 questions with a 5-point Likertís scale and informal feedback from faculty.
Two groups (4 each) completed correctly in 12 minutes. Most students 93.7% (98 of 117) indicated that crosswords were useful and contributed to their learning. Feedback on likertís scale revealed that : identifying key concepts and vocabulary(Q1- 50% SA, 33 A.), as a useful learning tool( Q2- 47% SA and 38% A); as a collaborative and competitive aspects (Q3- 45% SA,32 % A and 5% SA).
Cross word puzzle was easy ( 7% SA and 13% A). Written and informal comments indicated student enthusiasm for and a desire to participate in more of these exercises. Informal feedback was from faculty revealed that it was time consuming though useful.
Reasonably good response was obtained from undergraduates(8th and 9th semester) students to crossword puzzle technique as edutainment. Development of judicious complex puzzles of different variety is suggested.
Crossword puzzle,interactive learning, collabarative learning