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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-83

Self-directed learning to enhance active learning among the 2nd-year undergraduate medical students in Microbiology: An experimental study

1 Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
K Sandhya Bhat
Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-3069.198379

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Background: Self-directed learning (SDL) is considered as one of the best teaching tools for adult education, which is considered to be associated with the management of lifelong learning, for better outcomes. In line with the Medical Council of India vision to promote innovations in education, to create lifelong learners, and to encourage creative youngsters, SDL sessions were conducted for the third-semester students in the Department of Microbiology. Materials and Methods: An interventional study was carried out among all 96 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students in the third semester, in the academic year 2014, at Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences for systematic bacteriology topics by the Department of Microbiology. Didactic lectures and SDL sessions were conducted simultaneously. Both sessions were evaluated by a pretest and posttest using MCQs as assessment tool. Students' feedback was also collected. Results: Out of 96 third-semester students participated in the study, 36 were males and 60 were females. Results of pre- and post-test scores for both sessions were analyzed, which showed an increase in the mean score of 2.70 in the didactic lectures group, as against 2.09 in the SDL group. Anonymous feedback from students revealed that SDL classes were interesting, helped in better understanding of the topics, stimulated reasoning, and helped in active learning process. Conclusion: SDL strategies were found to be effective in stimulating thinking and understanding of the topics and to enhance the cognitive skills among the learners.

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