Small Group Teaching in Epidemiology Courses

  • Azita Goshtasebi Faculty member, Yasuj University of Medicine
  • A Zarifi
  • B Tarami
  • A Ghorbani


Background and purpose: small group teaching(SGT) in is a known method for developing intellectual skills, changing attitudes and encouraging the taking of responsibilities for learning. This study was an attempt to compare students’ attitudes and knowledge scores on SGT and lecture -based teaching (LBT).
Methods: 22 first year medical students were enrolled in a course using two methods (lecture- based and small group discussion) for teaching basic epidemiology. Data about attitudes and knowledge scores of the two methods were collected at the end of the course and analyzed using a two-sided Wilcoxon test.
Results: The students were satisfied and preferred SGT in terms of Evaluation method for the course, Participatory learning and team working, effectiveness and developing self learning skills (p<0.001),
and scored higher on topics of SGT(p<0.01), but believed that they needed longer discussion of the topics.
Conclusion: Better question design and course organization and creating a safe, comfortable environment is essential for good performance. Integrating this teaching strategy in medical education curricula with appropriate professional and organizational development is suggested.


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Original (Research) Articles