Published: 2017-11-22

Utility of self-learning packages in medical teaching: experience from a teaching hospital in South India

Lillykutty Poathen, Suresh S. Vadakkedom, Geeta Devi M.


Background: Many newer methods of teaching and learning have evolved, and more emphasis is given to self-directed learning. Self- Learning Package (SLP) is a teaching method used for self-directed learning which is complimentary to conventional teaching. Here the teacher plans and sets the teaching material and the students learn at their own time and pace. The proportion of students effectively making use of SLP varies. This study was designed to analyse the usefulness of these self- learning packages and to evolve strategies to improve its effectiveness.

Methods: 131 students of second professional MBBS of Govt. Medical College, Kottayam after informed consent and IRB approval were introduced to twenty modules of SLP prepared in the department of Pathology. Students were evaluated for regularity of use and marks scored in sessional exams using a checklist. An open-ended questionnaire was used to get student’s perceptions and suggestions about the use of SLP and was analyzed qualitatively. The data were analyzed by unpaired T test using appropriate statistical software.

Results: The study showed that there was significant difference in marks obtained by the regular and irregular users of SLP. Regular users scored more marks compared to the non-users, this difference was more in practical marks than in theory. 25% of students opined that it helped in improving knowledge. 55% felt that it helps in better clinical correlation. 20% felt that it improves knowledge and aids in better clinical correlation. Students also suggested that the modules should be in parallel with lecture topics.

Conclusions: Self-learning packages help students to enhance their knowledge and improves the clinical correlation skills if properly prepared and used. Self-motivation of the student and proper faculty guidance is essential for the regular use of SLP.


Self-directing learning, Self-learning packages

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