Background The advent of newer technology and students' growing familiarity with it has enabled information providers to introduce newer teaching methods such as audio podcasting in education. Inclusion of audio podcasts as a teaching aid for undergraduate medical or dental students could serve as a useful supplement to make reviewing more convenient and to enhance understanding and recall of the subject matter. Aims 1. To assess the efficacy of podcasts as a supplementary teaching and learning aid for first-year dental students of Manipal. 2. To study students' attitudes towards audio podcasts and perceived utility of podcasts. Method: This study was conducted at the Manipal College of Dental Sciences, India. The participants were first-year dental students. Live lecture classes were conducted for the students (n=80). The students were then divided randomly into two equal groups of 40 each. Group 1 students (n=40) had a study session followed by a multiple choice question (MCQ) test. This was followed by a podcasting session. Group 2 students had a study session along with an opportunity to listen to a podcast, followed by the test. Following this both groups completed a feedback form intended to assess their perceived utility and attitude towards podcasts. The performance score was analysed using SPSS and an independent sample t test was used to test the significance of differences in the mean score between the two groups. Results: Our analysis revealed a significant difference (p = 0.000) in the mean score between the two groups. Group 1 scored a mean of 7.95 out of 13 and group 2 scored a mean of 6.05 out of 13. Analysis of the feedback forms showed that 91.3 per cent of the students found the podcasts useful, as they could listen to lecture content repeatedly and at their own convenience. Sixty-three per cent of the students, however, felt that the absence of images and diagrams in podcasts was a disadvantage. Conclusion: Students benefited when podcasts were used to supplement live lectures and textbook content. This was indicated by better student performance in the podcast group. Also, students showed a favourable attitude for podcasts being used as a supplementary teaching and learning aid.
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