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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Aug 1987|
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