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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 290-296

Combining traditional embryology lectures with technology and perception of students toward it


1 Department of Anatomy, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, India

Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2018

Correspondence Address:
Priti Chaudhary
Department of Anatomy, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_79_18

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  Abstract 


Background: Technology-enhanced learning is reliable, established, and effective teaching tool for better understanding of the subject. This study addresses an important issue in medical education, namely, the enhancement of the widely criticized lecture style of teaching by engaging students more actively during class through the use of videos or animations. This study describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a traditional anatomy lecture series combined with technology. Aim and Objectives: The aim of the study is (a) to combine three-dimensional (3D) videos and animations with traditional embryology lectures and (b) to evaluate the 1st-year MBBS students' perception about this method of learning of embryology. Methodology: This qualitative study was conducted in the Department of Anatomy at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, during the theory classes of embryology over a period of approximately 3 months among 100 1st-year MBBS students. The students were shown 3D videos and animations of embryology during traditional didactic lecture to explain all the aspects of the development of different systems of the body in 25 classes, of 1-h duration each. Feedback was taken using a structured questionnaire to know the perception of students toward this exercise of using technology during lecture of embryology. Results: A total of 100 MBBS first professional students took part in the study and submitted questionnaire. The students were satisfied with this method of technology-enhanced learning and described better understanding of the concepts with improved learning. More than 90% of the students found that combining 3D videos and animations with traditional lecture helped in solving the confusion and misconceptions regarding topic and did make the topic more interesting. They further added that they wanted to have such type of technology (videos)-enhanced lectures in all other topics of anatomy and in other subjects as well. Conclusions: Technology used in the form of 3D videos and animations changed their attitude toward learning and their learning was improved. It provided satisfaction to students in terms of better learning and understanding of the subject.

Keywords: Students' perception, technology, traditional lectures


How to cite this article:
Chaudhary P, Arora K, Dhir SK. Combining traditional embryology lectures with technology and perception of students toward it. CHRISMED J Health Res 2018;5:290-6

How to cite this URL:
Chaudhary P, Arora K, Dhir SK. Combining traditional embryology lectures with technology and perception of students toward it. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 11];5:290-6. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2018/5/4/290/245455




  Introduction Top


Didactic lectures are powerful tools for delivering a huge amount of theoretical information and are especially useful when a large number of learners are to be taught at the same time.[1] However, anatomy is such a subject where learning is not possible by lectures or studying books alone, it in addition requires dissection of cadaver and other methods of teaching to get into the subject. With the advances in medical education, tools of teaching anatomy are also expanding.[2]

Educators use technological advances as powerful pedagogical tools not only to present a plethora of information on a specific topic but also to incorporate material that is not available in print or that requires synthesis from multiple resources.[3] Hence, computer-assisted learning has become popular in educational settings, having revolutionized the higher education sector.[4] The ultimate goal is to enhance student learning.

Lecture courses usually do not provide enough contact time for deeper learning activities. This is particularly in the case if students become passive recipients of large amounts of information, leaving them with limited mental capacity to actively engage in the learning process. As a result, students can postpone their study time (commonly referred to as “cramming before the examination”). Previous faculty development initiatives have, therefore, focused on increasing interaction with students during lectures as a way to enhance learning.[1],[5],[6],[7]

With new advancements, the traditional approach to the didactic lecture can be redefined by combining it with online learning. Online learning has been found to be effective, especially when linked to face-to-face instruction in a blended learning format.[8],[9]

The method of combining electronic and face-to-face learning, known as “blended learning,” is gaining popularity as an increasing number of new medical colleges use the Internet as the digital repository of teaching and learning forums.[10]

Technology gives the three-dimensional (3D) orientation of the structure concerned and therefore would be able to help students in better understanding of subject, especially embryology, which students usually find difficult to understand. In recent years, teaching has been revolutionized with adoption of new teaching–learning methods with PowerPoint lectures, etc., but demonstrating videos and animations along with traditional lecture is not frequently used method. The videos and animations give them an exact idea on how actually the development of organs happens, helping them to have a better concept when they join their clinical postings. That's why, we have combined the traditional embryology lecture with 3D videos/animations to make students more versed with the subject and also take the feedback from students about integration of these tools in other subjects too so that we might be able to incorporate this in all the topics of the anatomy as well as other subjects.

Aims and objectives

Aims

The aim is to study the enhancement of lecture style of teaching by introducing technology as an additional teaching tool for better understanding of embryology.

Specific objectives

  • To combine 3D videos and animations with traditional embryology lectures
  • To evaluate the first year MBBS students' perception about this method of learning of embryology.



  Methodology Top


Study design

This study was a qualitative study.

Setting

This study was done in the Department of Anatomy, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, India.

Time period

This study was done from April to September 2016 and the enrollment of the subjects was done from April 20, 2016, to June 20, 2016.

Subjects

All the MBBS first year students were eligible for enrollment in the study.

The exclusion criteria of this study were as follows:

  • Students who failed to submit the feedback form
  • Students who have filled <75% of the questions in the feedback form.


Sample size

One hundred first year MBBS students were evaluated at the completion of study which was done during the theory classes of embryology over a period of approximately 3 months.

Intervention

Prior permission was taken from the Institutional Ethical Committee. Informed verbal consent was taken from the students taking part in the study at the time of sensitization. A study was carried out during the theory classes of embryology (25 classes, 1-hour duration each), covering a specific topic every time. After teaching the theory part of the topics with blackboard and/or PowerPoint slides, students were demonstrated through 3D videos and animations of embryology during traditional didactic lectures to explain every aspect of the development of different systems of the body. The videos were paused in-between for narration and explanation of the concepts for better understanding and grasping of the topic (the animations and videos, which were used in the study, were in public domain on the internet).

Feedback

Feedback from the students was taken using a structured questionnaire one day after the completion of study to know about the perception of students toward this exercise of using technology during lecture of embryology. Before taking feedback, the students were briefed about the questionnaire and also informed written consent was taken. The feedback forms were distributed in class to all the students at the same time and collected after 10 minutes of distribution. Any query raised by students about the questions was answered there and then by the investigator.

The questionnaire (after preparation, validated by six colleagues) included both closed and open-ended questions. There were ten closed-ended questions and the responses of these closed-ended questions were taken using the 5-point Likert scale (strongly agree = 5, agree = 4, neutral = 3, disagree = 2, and strongly disagree = 1).

Students' suggestions and remarks about aspects of embryology which were better understood by technology/videos and what could be improved were elicited by open-ended questions. The specimen feedback form is enclosed as [Annexure I] (student questionnaire).



Analysis

The number (percentage) of students responding to each question in that particular grade was noted. The mean rating for each question was calculated. The data from the closed-ended questionnaires were collected, compiled, and analyzed over Microsoft Excel™, 2007, and data collected from open-ended questionnaires were coded, compiled, and analyzed to evaluate the students' response.


  Observations and Results Top


The study was carried out in the theory classes of embryology (25 classes/25 h). Feedback was taken from the students in the form of questionnaires comprising both open- and closed-ended questions one day after the completion of study. One hundred MBBS first professional students were sensitized and all of them took part in the study. One student among all did not respond to statement number 3 and one did not respond to statement number 7. The responses to each statement are summarized in [Table 1] and [Figure 1].
Table 1: Responses from students

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Figure 1: Feedback from students (questionnaire based)

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Some salient points of the feedback received for closed-ended questions were as follows:

  • 82% of the students were satisfied with this method of technology-enhanced learning
  • 82% of the students described better understanding of the concepts of the subject
  • 91% of the students found the topic more interesting with technology
  • 88% of the students found that combining traditional embryology lectures with technology changed their attitude toward learning and learning was improved
  • 95% of the students found that combining 3D videos and animations with traditional lecture improves in solving the confusion and alleviates misconceptions regarding topic
  • More than 70% of the students found the time provided for the technology/videos and method of presentation of videos during lecture adequate
  • 95% of the students wanted to have similar lectures in other topics of anatomy.


The mean rating for each category ranged between 3.8 and 4.7, reiterating the fact that the students widely appreciated the method.

Some salient points of the feedback received for open-ended questions were as follows:

The responses to the first open-ended question, i.e., what aspects of embryology are better understood by technology/videos, are summarized in [Table 2].
Table 2: Responses of the students about understanding of embryology

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The responses to the second open-ended question, i.e., what could be improved, are summarized in [Table 3].
Table 3: Suggestions of students for improvement

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The responses to the third open-ended question, i.e., any other comment/suggestions, are summarized in [Table 4].
Table 4: Comments/suggestions given by students

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Summary of Results

A total of 100 MBBS first professional students took part in the study and undertook questionnaire. The students were satisfied with this method of technology-enhanced learning and described better understanding of the concepts with improved learning. They further commented that watching live was much better than just imagination; most of the doubts/misconceptions were eliminated after watching the videos and information retained for longer period. They found this method very interesting and helpful in making a complete perception in their mind about the development of organ/organ system. They wished this technique to be included in other topics of anatomy and in other subjects as well.


  Discussion Top


The use of technology-enhanced learning in various subjects has already been proved to be effective teaching tool for better understanding of subject. Papanna et al. carried out a cross-sectional study at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Study participants included 2nd and 3rd-year medical students. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the information in relation to preferences and perceptions regarding teaching methods utilized for theory and clinical teaching. The study revealed that the teaching didactic lectures were least preferred (32.8%). In learning rare signs and cases, students preferred video lectures (41%) and mannequins (75.9%) in learning clinical skills.[11]

Baxi et al. conducted a study to explore the views of 5th-semester students at Government Medical College, Bhavnagar, on the advantages and disadvantages of blackboard, overhead projector, slide projector, and multimedia as a teaching tool. A multimedia approach was favored by most of the students and has been shown to be effective for classes with students from different backgrounds because multimedia material has been shown to explain complicated topics with the aid of pictures, graphs, animations, and simulations. Multimedia lectures can present complex concepts in small, chronological steps that aid students' ability to comprehend information in a meaningful way.[12]

In a study done on 322 1st-year nursing undergraduate students learning clinical skills, an online video of a best practice example as an adjunct to already taught clinical skills sessions improved student assessment results and satisfaction ratings. The overall satisfaction of the students who learned with the combination of videos and theory was significantly higher than their counterparts. The incorporation of video was also reported to positively influence most of the domains identified in classroom learning.[13]

In a study done by Roopashree et al., students of anatomy in 1st-year MBBS were exposed to different audio–visual aids of lectures such as blackboard, overhead projector transparencies (OHP) transparencies, and PowerPoint using liquid-crystal display (LCD). Feedback was taken by questionnaire, having 13 items covering the different aspects of lectures taken in anatomy. The comparison of the preferences of different audio–visual aids was analyzed. Some of the important comments given by the students about PowerPoint using LCD were as follows: it provides a better quality diagrams, PowerPoint teaching is interesting because it can incorporate animations, pictures, graphs, 3D images, sequences of images, and videos, and they further commented that embryology lectures should include animations and videos. The percentage of students preferring LCD as the best mode for gross anatomy lectures were about 61.2%, for embryology lectures were about 66.6% and 71.9% for the histology lectures. They further mentioned that the embryology lectures had 3D images to understand the whole morphology of the developing embryo; some videos of different stages of development in respective systems were shown which were very informative and cross-sectional study of embryos was better understood on LCD than that on blackboard teaching.[14]

Same reasons were given by students in the present study about 3D videos and animations that watching live is always better than imagination. About 95% of the students found that combining 3D videos and animations with traditional lecture helps in solving the confusion and misconceptions regarding topic, and 82% of the students described better understanding of the concepts of the subject.

Outcomes: What this study adds

In this study, technology used in the form of 3D videos and animations did motivate the students to try newer methods of learning, and they reported feeling benefitted. It changed their attitude toward learning which was improved. Students also reported that combining 3D videos and animations with traditional lecture was helpful in solving the confusion and misconceptions regarding topic. It provided satisfaction to students in terms of better learning and understanding of the subject.


  Conclusions Top


Most of the students expressed a high degree of satisfaction as they found that combining 3D videos and animations with traditional lecture made the topic more interesting, improved in solving the confusion, and alleviated misconceptions regarding the topic which led to better understanding of the subject. Almost all the students wanted to have similar lectures in other topics of anatomy. They felt hopeful that this technology-enhanced learning using 3D videos and animations will result in better learning and better academic performance by them.

Implications

The amendment of teaching–learning methods may form a starting point of a dialog with the students with regard to their teaching and learning practices and their enhancement, but it was worth because student feedback can be used for improving the teaching–learning methods. To improve the performance of the students, more time will be devoted to this type of learning in other topics of anatomy as well and duration provided for the videos/animations during lecture will also be increased with very good quality videos and audio system and with more interaction and active participation of students as per their feedback.

Limitations

  • Time management was a problem as sometimes it was not possible to demonstrate the whole video in 1-h duration, so we had to take extra time for that
  • The inclusion of assessment of impact on actual learning of the students would have increased the credibility of the study but could not be done because of short duration of study period (as this study was done as a part of Advance course of Medical Education).


Acknowledgments

I would like to thank all the MBBS first professional students for their whole-hearted contribution in completion of this study and duly acknowledge the positive support rendered to me by the worthy principal and staff of G.G.S. Medical College, Faridkot.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Papanna KM, Kulkarni V, Tanvi D, Lakshmi V, Kriti L, Unnikrishnan B, et al. Perceptions and preferences of medical students regarding teaching methods in a medical college, Mangalore India. Afr Health Sci 2013;13:808-13.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Valizadeh S, Feizalahzadeh H, Avari M, Virani F. Effect of education of principles of drug prescription and calculation through lecture and designed multimedia software on nursing students' learning outcomes. Electron Physician 2016;8:2691-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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