Student perceptions and learning outcome on a “fishbowl” strategy-based pharmacology seminar on drug dependence


  • Madhav M. Mutalik Department of Pharmacology, MIMER Medical College Talegaon,Pune,Maharashtra,India



Seminar, Fishbowl, Unconference, Non-speakers


Background: In traditional seminars usually the participants (speakers) study a topic and the non-speakers remain passive. The present study was done by using a novel “fishbowl” strategy for conducting a pharmacology seminar.

Methods: A novel method based on “fishbowl” principle was applied to a drug dependence seminar in pharmacology, wherein every student was actively involved in the process. Learning outcome was assessed by comparing pre-test and post-test scores. Perceptions of students were assessed by a comprehensive questionnaire inquiring about the novel “fishbowl” method as well as seminars in general as a teaching-learning tool.

Results: The novel, “fishbowl” method showed a better learning outcome on a paired t test (p<0.0001) as well as positive student perceptions. The students preferred seminars rather than lectures; however, they felt that traditional seminars are beneficial only to the speakers, and that in general seminar was a difficult and time consuming task. Majority of students expressed that the seminars were useful in preparing for medical examinations, and that seminar may be a part of evaluation in MBBS examination system.

Conclusions: Use of the “fishbowl” technique produced better learning outcome through a pharmacology seminar on drug dependence. The newly designed method did involve each participant in the class, facilitated active learning, benefited to the speakers as well as non-speakers, and helped build the team spirit. “Fishbowl” principle highlights the importance of individual and small-group learning, and thus makes pharmacology learning more effective and interesting.


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How to Cite

Mutalik, M. M. (2016). Student perceptions and learning outcome on a “fishbowl” strategy-based pharmacology seminar on drug dependence. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 5(3), 879–883.



Original Research Articles