Evaluation of student-symposium as a teaching- learning tool

Pankaj Sarkate, Raakhi Tripathi, Sharmila Jalgaonkar


Didactic lectures are traditionally most commonly used for teaching undergraduate medical students. Some drawbacks of
didactic lectures can be overcome by supplementing with novel teaching techniques. The current study was conducted to
evaluate student-conducted symposium as a teaching learning tool in the subject of Pharmacology. Three symposia were
conducted  by  randomly  selected  20  students  for  each  symposium,  from  a  batch  of  180  students  of  second  year
undergraduate medical students. The perception of students who conducted symposia and those who attended as audience
was evaluated by using separate questionnaires. The performance was also assessed by giving a multiple choice question (MCQ) test.Students who got the opportunity to conduct symposium gave far more positive opinions about the teaching
tool than those who passively attended the session. For example, 94% of the students conducting symposium opined that 'the  knowledge  acquired  via  this  teaching  technique will  help  them  in  clinical  practice'  as  opposed  to  only  56%  from students  attending  it.  Similarly,  77%  of  the  student  speakers  wanted  this  teaching  pattern  to  be  continued  in  future compared  to  38%  of  the  listeners. The  performance  of  audience  however was  uniformly  improved  in  all  3  sessions. Thus, student-conducted symposium as a  teaching  learning  tool was well accepted and appreciated by especially  those students, who were  involved  in conducting sessions. Efforts are needed  to  increase  the participation of students  in such sessions

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