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Implementation of case-based learning method for teaching biochemistry for undergraduate medical students

Sandip Sendhav, Alkesh Vara, Viral Solanki, Vinay Patke, Chirag Pandya, Kinjal Patel, Prasad Khodke.


Background: First year MBBS curriculum in Biochemistry is taught by the conventional methods of teaching in which didactic lectures share almost 70% of the total content load, in which students fail to grasp the importance of biochemistry and its significant contribution in medical laboratory science. Hence, case-based learning (CBL) is being used in the medical curriculum, so that students are exposed to the real-life medical problems.

Aim and Objectives: The study aimed implementation of CBL sessions in 1st year MBBS students and to analyze perception of students and faculty about the
effectiveness of CBL method.

Materials and Methods: A group of 150 students of Phase 1 MBBS course was selected for interventional study comprising two teaching-learning sessions on two core topics in biochemistry. Pre-test and post-test were conducted before and after the CBL session. A third test was conducted 1 month after the post-test to assess retention of knowledge gained by the students. The performance of the students was analyzed.

Results: Pre-test and post-test analysis showed a very significant improvement in performance of the students after the CBL sessions. About 95% of the students and 90% of faculty reported that CBL sessions were useful to facilitate critical thinking through active learning. About 85% of students and 80% of faculty expressed that CBL helped in bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Conclusion: It is evident from the present study that CBL in biochemistry can be implemented as innovative and effective teaching module to achieve the learning objectives. Case studies encourage active learning, promote critical thinking, and instill motivation in the subject.

Key words: Case-based Learning; Competency-based Medical Education; Critical Thinking; Student Feedback; Teacher’s Reflections; Teaching Module

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