Interactive E-learning module in pharmacology: a pilot project at a rural medical college in India
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AbstractMany medical educators are experimenting with innovative ways of E-learning. E-learning provides opportunities to students for self-directed learning in addition to other advantages. In this study, we designed and evaluated an interactive E-learning module in pharmacology for effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility, with the aim of promoting active learning in this fact-filled subject. A quasi-experimental single-group pre-test/post-test study was conducted with fourth-semester students of the second professionals course (II MBBS), selected using non-probability convenience sampling method. An E-learning module in endocrine pharmacology was designed to comprise three units of interactive PowerPoint presentations. The pre-validated presentations were uploaded on the website according to a predefined schedule and the 42 registered students were encouraged to self-learning using these interactive presentations. Cognitive gain was assessed using an online pre- and post-test for each unit. Students’ perceptions were recorded using an online feedback questionnaire on a 5-point Likert scale. Finally, focused group discussion was conducted to further explore students’ views on E-learning activity. Significant attrition was observed during the E-learning activity. Of the 42 registered students, only 16 students completed the entire E-learning module. The summed average score of all three units (entire module) was increased significantly from 38.42 % (summed average pre-test score: 11.56/30 ± 2.90) to 66.46 % (summed average post-test score: 19.94/30 ± 6.13). The class-average normalized gain for the entire module was 0.4542 (45.42). The students accepted this E-learning activity well as they perceived it to be innovative, convenient, flexible and useful. The average rating was between 4 (agree) and 5 (strongly agree). The interactive E-learning module in pharmacology was moderately effective and well perceived by the students. The simple, cost-effective and readily available Microsoft PowerPoint tool appealed to medical educators to use this kind of simple E-learning technology blended with traditional teaching to encourage active learning among students especially in a rural setup is attractive.