The Impact of Small Group Case-based Learning on Traditional Pharmacology Teaching

Yasin I. Tayem


Objectives: This study aimed to measure medical students’ perceptions of incorporating small group case-based learning (CBL) in traditional pharmacology lectures. Methods: Data were collected from third-year students (N = 68; 57% males, 43% females) at Al Quds University Medical School, Palestine. The students were offered a CBL-incorporated Pharmacology-2 course after they had been taught Pharmacology-1 in the traditional format during the preceding semester. Student attitudes towards the restructured course were examined by a self-administered structured questionnaire. Results: The majority of students thought that CBL was an effective learning tool for them (82%) and that it improved their learning skills (83%), independent learning skills (74%), analytical skills (70%), and their level of preparation for exams (75%). Most students reported that team discussions addressed lecture objectives (84%). Regarding cases discussed, most responders said that the cases were appropriate to the lecture topics (96%) and that the time allocated for case discussion was sufficient (86%). A large proportion of students thought that CBL improved their communication and collaborative skills (68% and 80%, respectively) and ability to work within a team (79%). Conclusion: Pharmacology-2 course restructuring led to a significant improvement of self-reported student satisfaction, motivation, and engagement.


Small group learning; Case-based learning; Pharmacology.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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