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Effectiveness of a modified tutorless problem-based learning method in dermatology – a pilot study


  • Conflict of interest
    Conflict of interest to declare.

  • Funding sources
    No specific funding.

Feroze Kaliyadan.


Background and aims  Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centred instructional strategy in which students learn in a collaborative manner, the learning process being guided by a facilitator. One of the limitations of conventional PBL in medical education is the need for adequate resources in terms of faculty and time. Our study aimed to compare conventional PBL in dermatology with a modified tutorless PBL in which pre-listed cues and the use of digital media help direct the learning process.

Methods  Thirty-one-fifth year medical students were divided into two groups: the study group comprising 16 students were exposed to the modified PBL, whereas the control group comprising 15 students were given the same scenarios and triggers, but in a conventional tutor-facilitated PBL. Knowledge acquisition and student feedback were assessed using a post-test and a Likert scale-based questionnaire, respectively.

Results  The post-test marks showed no significant statistical differences between the two groups. The general feedback regarding the modified PBL was positive and the students felt comfortable with the module. The learning objectives were met satisfactorily in both groups.

Conclusion  Modified tutorless PBL modules might be an effective method to incorporate student-centred learning in dermatology without constraints in terms of faculty resources or time.

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