Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (DU), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

2 Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India,


BACKGROUND: Lecturing (didactic) has been the key teaching-learning method for a long time.
As per competency-based medical education, an Indian medical graduate should be competent in
recommended skills. In the subject of Community Medicine of medical undergraduation, “Biostatistics”
is one of the components of the curriculum. Often the students find the statistics challenging to
understand and thus neglect it or prefer rote learning. In the recent era, many newer teachinglearning modalities have come up, namely problem-based learning (PBL), small group teaching,
community-based learning, etc. The objective was to compare the utility and effectiveness of PBL
versus traditional teaching techniques (didactic) for Biostatistics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in the department of Community Medicine,
Government Medical College, Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh) from March to November 2019. A total of
96 medical students of the final year were randomly divided into two groups. ‘Group A’ underwent
didactic lecturing whereas “Group B” had problem‑based learning for identified topics in Biostatistics.
The teaching material and instructors were the same for both groups. Two weeks after completion
of sessions, students’ assessment was carried out for both groups.
RESULTS: The study demonstrated that the PBL method was a more effective way of teaching-learning
statistics compared to didactic lecturing. A significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed between
the mean examination score of Group A (traditional teaching technique) and Group B (PBL). Group
B had higher scores than group A in all assessment heads (Objective, Descriptive, and Viva-voce).
PBL was perceived to be a student-centric Teaching-learning method promoting analytical skills,
critical thinking & overall self-directed learning.
CONCLUSION: PBL teaching method was found to be effective in improving the students’
performance in Statistics in comparison to didactic lecturing.


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