Background: The classical didactic lecture has been the cornerstone of the theoretical undergraduate medical education. Their efficacy however reduces due to reduced interaction and short attention span of the students. It is hypothesized that the interactive response pad obviates some of these drawbacks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive response system by comparing it with conventional classroom teaching. Methods: A prospective comparative longitudinal study was conducted on 192 students who were exposed to either conventional or interactive teaching over 20 classes. Pre-test, Posttest and retentions test (post /1-/22 weeks) scores were collated and statistically analysed. An independent observer measured number of student interactions in each class. Results: Pre-test scores from both groups were similar (p ¼ 0.71). There was significant improvement in both post test scores when compared to pre-test scores in either method (p < 0.001). The interactive post-test score was better than conventional post test score (p < 0.001) by /1-/20% (95% CI-difference of means e 8.2%e9.24%e10.3%). The interactive retention test score was better than conventional retention test score (p < 0.001) by /1-/28% (95% CI-difference of means e 15.0%e16.64%e18.2%). There were 51 participative events in the interactive group vs 25 in the conventional group. Conclusions: The Interactive Response Pad method was efficacious in teaching. Students taught with the interactive method were likely to score /1-/20% higher (statistically significant) in the immediate post class time and /1-/28% higher (statistically significant) after 8 -12 weeks. The number of studenteteacher interactions increases when using the interactive response pads.
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