An approach to enhance medical pedagogy: a study to assess the role of seminars in undergraduate teaching

Meenakshi Bhilwar, Shailaja Daral, Jugal Kishore


Background: Teaching in India is still controlled by teacher centered classrooms. Absence of active involvement of students in traditional teacher-centered classes leads to boredom and inability to concentrate in lectures. Recently, many active learning methods have been piloted and tested with the intention to engage students in classrooms. One such method is seminar, which is an interactive method of group teaching. The current study was undertaken to document the effect of seminar on undergraduate learning.
Methods: It was a cross sectional study conducted by the Department of Community Medicine, VMMC on undergraduate students. The Department organized a seminar on “Radiation and Cancer- Public health concerns” which brought together experienced speakers to deliver a talk on the importance of radiation. The effect of seminar was assessed with the help of predesigned questionnaire which was developed based on the topics presented at the seminar. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS v. 17.
Results and Discussion: A total of 112 undergraduate students completed the questionnaire, both pre- and post. The mean score before exposure to the seminar was 7.93± 2.05 whereas post seminar the score was 9.91±1.80 (p=0.001). 84% students observed an increment in their scores post the seminar. Findings provide a scientific support to introduce alternative methods of teaching besides the routine chalk and talk method. Introducing the concept of seminars wherein experts from various medical related backgrounds come at one platform and deliver updated medical knowledge to students would be beneficial.


Undergraduate, Education, Seminar, alternative teaching techniques.

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