Interactive discussion versus lecture for learning and retention by medical students
Introduction: Medical educators search for the best methods for teaching medical students. With improvements in technology, it became relatively easy for instructors to supplement lectures with electronic slideshows or to create internet-based presentations with minimal or no instructor interaction. More recently, educators have focused on making teaching more interactive.
Methods: During the third-year paediatric rotation, students were assigned to a slideshow lecture format or an interactive discussion format. Students completed a 20-item multiple-choice knowledge test on three occasions: a baseline test before the teaching session, a second immediately after the teaching session and another 6 months after the teaching session. Test scores and changes in test scores were compared between the groups. Number of student–teacher interactions and student evaluations of the teaching sessions were also compared between groups.
Results: Both groups had a statistically-significant improvement from pre-test to post-test, as well as pre-test to 6-month and post-test to 6-month, but there was no difference between the groups. There were more student interactions in the discussion groups: 26% of students in the lecture groups compared to 77% in the discussion group. Students in the lecture group indicated that they felt more prepared, however significantly more students (74%) in the discussion group stated that they enjoyed this method of teaching compared to 51% of students in the lecture group.
Conclusions: We found that students taught with passive lecture or active discussions had similar test scores despite significantly more interaction in the discussion group, but they seemed to enjoy the discussion method more than the lectures.
Anyaehie, U., Nwobodo, E., Oze, G., Nwagha, U. I., Orizu, I., Okeke, T., & Anyanwu, G. E. (2011). Medical students’ evaluation of physiology learning environments in two Nigerian medical schools. Advances in Physiology Education, 35(2), 146–148.
Blake, R. L., Hosokawa, M. C., & Riley, S. L. (2000). Student performances on Step 1 and Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination following implementation of a problem-based learning curriculum. Academic Medicine, 75(1), 66–70.
Brinton, D. A., Jarvis, J. Q., & Harris, D. L. (1984). A small-group instruction experiment in medical education. Academic Medicine, 59(1), 13–18.
Bulstrode, C., Gallagher, F. A., Pilling, E. L., Furniss, D., & Proctor, R. D. (2003). A randomised controlled trial comparing two methods of teaching medical students trauma and orthopaedics: Traditional lectures versus the “donut round.” The Surgeon: Journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland, 1(2),76–80.
Chang, C. H., Yang, C. Y., See, L. C., & Lui, P. W. (2004). High satisfaction with problem-based learning for anesthesia. Chang Gung Medical Journal, 27(9), 654–662.
Enarson, C., & Cariaga-Lo, L. (2001). Influence of curriculum type on student performance in the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and
Step 2 exams: Problem-based learning vs. lecture-based curriculum. Medical Education, 35(11), 1050–1055.
Fischer, R. L., Jacobs, S. L., & Herbert, W. N. (2004). Small-group discussion versus lecture format for third-year students in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 104(2), 349–353.
Harder, B. (2013). Are MOOCs the future of medical education? BMJ, 346(f2666). doi:10.1136/bmj.f2666
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., III, & Swanson, R. F. (1998). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (5th ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company.
Koles, P. G., Stolfi, A., Borges, N. J., Nelson, S., & Parmelee, D. X. (2010). The impact of team-based learning on medical students’ academic performance. Academic Medicine, 85(11), 1739–1745.
Miller, G. E. (1990). The assessment of clinical skills/competence/performance. Academic Medicine, 65(9), S63–S67.
Nieder, G. L., Parmelee, D. X., Stolfi, A., & Hudes, P. D. (2005). Team-based learning in a medical gross anatomy and embryology course. Clinical Anatomy, 18(1), 56–63.
Stein, G. H., Shibata, A., Bautista, M., & Tokuda, Y. (2010). Webinar: An initial experience with web-based real time interactive clinical seminars for Japanese medical students. General Medicine, 11(2), 87–90.
Swanson, D. B., Norman, G. R., & Linn, R. L. (1995). Performance-based assessment: Lessons from the health professions. Educational Researcher, 24(5), 5–11.
Thomas, J., Aeby, T., Kamikawa, G., & Kaneshiro, B. (2009). Problem-based learning and academic performance in residency. Hawaii Medical Journal, 68(10), 246–248.
- There are currently no refbacks.