Background: Case-based learning (CBL) is an interactive student-centered exploration of real life situations. This paper describes the use of CBL as an educational strategy for promoting active learning in microbiology. Materials and Methods: CBL was introduced in the microbiology curriculum for the second year medical students after an orientation program for faculty and students. After intervention, the average student scores in CBL topics were compared with scores obtained in lecture topics. An attempt was also made to find the effect of CBL on the academic performance. Student and faculty perception on CBL were also recorded. Results: In a cross sectional survey conducted to assess the effectiveness of CBL, students responded that, apart from helping them acquire substantive knowledge in microbiology, CBL sessions enhanced their analytic, collaborative, and communication skills. The block examination scores in CBL topics were significantly higher than those obtained for lecture topics. Faculty rated the process to be highly effective in stimulating student interest and long term retention of microbiology knowledge. The student scores were significantly higher in the group that used CBL, compared to the group that had not used CBL as a learning strategy. Conclusion: Our experience indicated that CBL sessions enhanced active learning in microbiology. More frequent use of CBL sessions would not only help the student gain requisite knowledge in microbiology but also enhance their analytic and communication skills.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Microbiology (medical)