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Computer assisted learning : Perceptions and knowledge skills of undergraduate medical students in a Malaysian medical school.

Chitra Govindaraja, Heethal Jaiprakash, Chandramouli Annamalai, Sharmila Sornam Vedhavathy.

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Objective - Medical students often find it difficult to conceptualize the various aspects of pharmacology. Interactive multimedia softwares have been designed in developed countries to demonstrate experiments in pharmacology using virtual animals claiming benefits of the same. Our objective is to analyse whether Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) enhances understanding in Malaysian students and to assess their cognitive skills(knowledge acquired and perceptions) with computer simulations in Pharmacology practical experiments .

Methods - One hundred and twenty seven students attended the practicals. They also filled a survey questionnaire on the outcomes, advantages and disadvantages of the CAL session using simulations software. They took up tests before and after the CAL session The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and proportion test.

Results - The survey in the form of questionnaire indicated that >80% of the students found the simulations to be good and 75% claimed that their understanding had improved. Improvement in the knowledge acquired is reflected in the post test.

Conclusion - Undergraduate medical students find that CAL reinforces the lectures, enriches the learning experience and lets them personalize learning at their own pace within the time-tabled slots.

Key words: Computer-Assisted Learning, Simulated experiments, Pharmacology, Knowledge, Perceptions.

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