A comparative study of the learning outcomes and students’ satisfaction from problem-based learning and lecture-based learning in obstetrics and gynaecology

Valsa Chathampadathil Augusthy


Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) has been endorsed by bodies such as the World Health Organization and Medical Council of India as a solution to both the ills of medical education and new challenges such as clinical governance. This empirical study was undertaken to assess and compare the learning outcomes at various levels of cognitive domain like recall, analysis and comprehension, and application in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (OBG) course by implementing lecture-based learning (LBL) and problem-based learning methods. It also aimed to assess the students’ satisfaction and opinion about LBL and PBL methods.

Methods: Three batches of final year MBBS students of Pushpagiri Medical College Hospital, Thiruvalla, posted in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology during the study period of 6 months were conveniently selected for the study. Each batch of 14 students was divided into 2 groups randomly and two topics of OBG were taught using LBL and PBL methods for both the groups. The peer reviewed tests consisted of ten questions each for both the topics of OBG addressing the various levels of cognitive domain were administered before and after the sessions. After each session the students were also asked to fill the Satisfaction Questionnaire anonymously in order to assess students’ opinions about PBL and LBL methods.

Results: The results of the study proved that in comparison to LBL, the PBL method produces better outcomes of recall, analytical and critical thinking in addition to problem solving skills. PBL had been found to be a more effective form of learning method with a greater degree of learning satisfaction and motivation as compared to the conventional LBL method.

Conclusions: PBL method is a more effective instructional tool to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills among medical students as compared to the traditional LBL method and students are more satisfied with the PBL method in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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