A questionnaire-based comparison of conventional teaching methods to computer assisted learning in experimental pharmacology for undergraduate medical students

Ravi Kant Tiwari, Sandeep K. Gupta, R. K. Goel


Background: Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) for teaching experimental pharmacology is now widely accepted as alternative to animal experiments. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of undergraduate medical students by conventional teaching methods (lecture and discussion) and CAL.

Methods: This was a questionnaire based observational study involving 109 MBBS students of fifth semester. The students were taught experimental pharmacology practical by both conventional methods (lecture with discussion) and computer assisted learning (CAL). Questionnaire and their filled responses by these students were taken at the end of lecture-discussion (pre-CAL) and after the CAL experiments (post-CAL), covering the same topics of experimental pharmacology. Pre-CAL and post-CAL data were assessed statistically.

Results: In the pre-CAL session, only 53.39%, 47.56%, 53.39% and 49.5% of the students were having the scores above 40% in the rabbit eye, DRC and potentiation, frog heart and dog BP experiment respectively, which was increased to 77.44%, 75.48%, 75.47% and 75.48% of the students respectively in the post-CAL assessment. A statistically significant difference (p <0.05) in the performance was observed among the students in the pre-CAL and post-CAL assessment.

Conclusions: CAL is a good alternative to animal experimentation. Lecture with discussion, followed by CAL experiments on the same topics, enhanced the performance of students as shown by improvement in post-CAL scores.


Animal experiments, Computer assisted learning, Experimental pharmacology

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