A comparison of the teaching effectiveness of the didactic lecture and the problem-oriented small group session: A prospective study

G. Dunnington, D. Witzke, R. Rubeck, A. Beck, J. Mohr, C. Putnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

A prospective study was designed to assess the teaching effectiveness of active learning in problem-oriented small group sessions (POSGS) compared with passive learning in didactic lectures (DL). Third-year medical students participated in a POSGS on breast disease and a standardized DL on thyroid disease (N = 23) or participated in a POSGS on thyroid disease and a DL on breast disease (N = 19). Students were tested with a multiple-choice examination (MCQ) and a highly structured oral examination (OE) administered by faculty members blinded about student group. Results of a between-within analysis of variance performed separately for breast and thyroid disease yielded significant group differences because of instructional method for thyroid disease (p = 0.003) and approached significance for breast disease (p = 0.095). Although no significant interactions were detected with percentage scores, a significant interaction between group membership and test type was noted for thyroid disease when the percentage scores were transformed to Z scores. We conclude that regardless of topic or testing method, students in POSGS tended to perform better than students in a DL and that the POSGS offers significant advantages over the DL in teaching surgery to third-year medical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery
Volume102
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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