Designing & implementing role play as a method of teaching biochemistry for first MBBS students

Smita G Narad


Introduction: DE novo synthesis of fatty acid is one of the complex metabolic pathway amongst the Biochemistry curriculum for first MBBS students. Fatty acid synthase multi enzyme complex (FAS-MEC) is key enzyme and teaching its three-dimensional structure, its loading with substrate and reactions of this pathway has been a challenge for teachers.

Objectives: Our study aims at designing role play as a teaching learning method to illustrate and simplify De novo synthesis of fatty acid. The objectives were to analyze the perception of first M.B.B.S. students and teachers about role play as a method of teaching.

Materials and Methods: Role play was designed to illustrate structure and function of FAS-MEC. 12 students from first MBBS enacted the role of various enzymes of FAS-MEC and the metabolites of the pathway. Biochemical reactions were demonstrated with help of the placards. Views of 150 Students and 10 teachers were analyzed with help of Likert’s score based pre-validated questionnaire.

Results and Discussion: Teaching by role play was highly appreciated by the students & teachers as it helped them to understand mechanism of FAS –MEC & structure. They felt that it may improve their retention of knowledge and enhance reproducibility with effective teacher student communication. In accordance with the past studies, both group felt that role play is an effective teaching learning tool and power point presentations can be used to reinforce the topic.

Conclusion: Despite growing digitalization constitutional methods of teaching like role play is appreciated by students and teachers as a useful and effective teaching learning tool.

Keywords: Biochemistry, Fatty acid synthase multi enzyme complex, Role play, Teaching learning tool

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