Student’s perception and experience of computer assisted learning as a teaching method in experimental pharmacology

Deepika Tikoo, Meenakshi Gupta


Background: The decline in the use of animals for teaching in experimental pharmacology due to ethical concerns has led to the introduction of non-animal alternatives. These methods not only try to simulate the live experiment results but also offer the advantages of being time saving, reproducible and have minimum errors. One such alternative is computer assisted learning (CAL) which demonstrates the effect of drugs on living tissue in a virtual environment. In the present study, we assessed the outcome of CAL session among the medical students with the help of a questionnaire and compared it with the pre-CAL questionnaire to study the effectiveness of simulation experiments.

Methods: A total of 109 students participated in the study. They were divided into two Batches I and II. Batch I students were given a pre-CAL questionnaire on a selected topic, followed by a CAL session on that topic and a post-CAL questionnaire. Whereas for Batch II students, we directly started with demonstration of CAL session on the same topic followed by a post-CAL questionnaire. A student feedback form based on five point Likert scale was also given to all the students to get their views about the simulation experiments.

Results: The students in Batch I, after the CAL session had better average score % as compared to pre-CAL test (80.7% vs. 32.4%). Furthermore, when we compared the post-CAL scores of Batch I and Batch II, it was seen that the average score % was higher for Batch I (80.7%) than Batch II (55.4%).

Conclusion: The study demonstrates the effectiveness of CAL in teaching experimental pharmacology concepts and the students felt that this method helped them in a better understanding of the topic as the effects were clearly visualized on the screen and that such simulations need to be a part of the standard curriculum.


Computer assisted learning, Pharmacology, Simulation experiment

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