Is small group teaching among the under graduate dental students really effective?

U. P. Rathnakar, Sheetal D. Ullal, Preethi G. Pai, S. Rajeshwari, Pemminati Sudhakar, G. Shivaprakash, Ashok K. Shenoy, M. S. Kotian

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lecturing to a large group is the usual mode of teaching in most of the dental colleges in India. Only little research has been done to examine the effectiveness of the different teaching styles. Effective teaching is required to produce more efficient dentists and hence an effort was made to compare two different teaching styles among the dental students. Objective: To compare the effectiveness of large group lectures with small group teaching among the undergraduate students of pharmacology. Setting and Design: Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Randomized cross over design to cover two topics in pharmacology. Methods: Ninety seven students studying for the second year dental course were randomized into one large group and four small groups. Each group was taught two topics in pharmacology, either by lectures to a large group or by the small group teaching method, with each group crossing over after the first session with the other topic. At the end of each class, the students were tested by using objective questions. Statistical Analysis: The mean marks of each group were compared by using the Student's t test. Results: The mean marks of all the students in the four sub groups of group B, who were taught in small groups [BS = 43], 12.12 ± 2.2, P = 0.02, were found to be higher than the mean marks of the students in the large group A [AL]. The mean score of the four small groups of group A [AS = 44students], 12.30 ± 1.7, P = 0.01 was higher than that of group B in the large lecture group [BL]. Conclusion: The results of this study provide evidence that small group teaching is more effective and that it facilitates a better recollection of the topics than the large group lecture technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-825
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22-08-2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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