ABSTRACT: Engaging medical undergraduates in question making: a novel way to reinforcing learning in physiology
The monotony of conventional didactic lectures makes students less attentive toward learning, and they tend to memorize isolated facts without understanding, just for the sake of passing exams. Therefore, to promote a habit of gaining indepth knowledge of basic sciences in medical undergraduates along with honing of their communication and analytical skills, we introduced this more interactive way of learning. The present study was performed on 99 first-semester medical students. After conventional didactic lectures, students were asked to prepare small conceptual questions on the topic. They were divided into two teams, which were made to ask questions to each other. If a team failed to answer, the student who questioned was supposed to answer to the satisfaction of the other team’s student. Data were then obtained by getting feedback from the students on a 10-item questionnaire, and statistical evaluation was done using MS Excel and SPSS. To draft questions, students went through the whole system comprehensively and made questions from every possible aspect of the topic. Some of the questions (30%) were of recall type, but most judged higher cognitive domains. Student feedback revealed that they were satisfied, motivated to read more, and were confident of applying this learning and communication skills in future clinical practice. Students also expressed their desire to implement this activity as a regular feature of the curriculum. The activity resulted in an increase in student perceptions of their knowledge on the topic as well as communicative and analytical skills. This may eventually lead to better learning.