Document Type : Original Article


Department of Pre‑Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was designed to investigate medical students’ perceptions
of small group teaching effectiveness in a hybrid curriculum.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional, descriptive survey was conducted at the School
of Medicine, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine where we collected the data from
195 undergraduate students. A self‑administered questionnaire consisting of 25 items was used to
measure students’ perception on the effectiveness of problem‑based learning (PBL) with regard to
learning experience, teamwork, confidence, communication skills, and role of the tutor. Statistical
analyses included mean and standard deviation for the description of each item; t‑test to compare
the mean scores for gender and class year, and one‑way analysis of variance between groups for
age group comparisons.
RESULTS: The students overall perceptions of small group teaching effectiveness showed that the
PBL sessions were beneficial to their learning process (mean: 3.63 ± 0.46). Students have positive
perceptions toward small group effectiveness, particularly in learning experience (mean: 3.98 ± 0.63)
and teamwork (mean: 3.67 ± 0.58). The mean scores, measuring teamwork, for 2nd year students was
significantly higher than that for 1st year students (3.76 ± 0.55 and 3.55 ± 0.60 respectively, P = 013).
A similar significant trend was observed between 2nd year and 1st year students on communication
skills (3.48 ± 0.67 and 3.29 ± 0.55, respectively, P = 0.046).
CONCLUSIONS: PBL is an effective small group teaching method for medical students. Faculty
development and students’ training programs are required before implementing PBL.


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