Students’ attitude toward didactic lecture versus problem-based learning in pharmacology: a questionnaire based study

Lalit Mohan, Smita Shenoy, B. R. Eesha, Anoopkishore ., K. L. Bairy, Navin Patil


Background: The study was conducted to assess student attitude toward learning by didactic lectures versus problem-based learning (PBL).

Methods: A questionnaire containing 11 statements was distributed to the students. Statements ranged from general information on lectures and PBL to benefits of lecture-based learning (LBL) over PBL and vice versa. The students were asked to score each individual statement. The median total scores and median with inter-quartile range of individual statements was calculated. A comparison between questions that support LBL or PBL was performed. Student t-test was employed to compare the mean scores of different groups.

Results: Two hundred and seven students participated in this questionnaire study. The individual median total score was 42 when compared with possible total score of 55. There was a statistically significant (p<0.05) difference between the total score (mean±standard deviation) for the questions related to LBL (3.2391±0.05120) and those related to PBL (4.0640±0.05688).

Conclusion: The score for PBL was significantly higher than LBL showing that students liked PBL more than LBL.


Teaching, Lectures, Problem-based learning

Full Text:



Sudha J. Graduate training programmes in pharmacology in India. Health Adm. 2006;19(1):88-91.

Mohan L, Shankar PR, Kamath A, Manish MS, Eesha BR. Students’ attitudes towards the use of audio visual aids during didactic lectures in pharmacology. J Clin Diagn Res. 2010;4(6):3363-8.

Tisonova J, Hudec R, Szalayova A, Bozekova L, Wawruch M, Lassanova M, et al. Experience with problem oriented teaching in pharmacology. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2005;106(2):83-7.

Wood DF. ABC of learning and teaching in medicine. Problem based learning. BMJ 2003;326(7384):328-30.

Ghosh S, Dawka V. Combination of didactic lecture with problem-based learning sessions in physiology teaching in a developing medical college in Nepal. Adv Physiol Educ. 2000;24(1):8-12.

Shankar PR, Dubey AK, Mishra P, Upadhyay D, Subish P, Deshpande PY. Student feedback on problem stimulated learning in pharmacology: a questionnaire based study. Pharm Educ. 2004;4(2):51-6.

Kwan CY. Problem-based learning and teaching of medical pharmacology. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2002;366(1):10-7.

Sanson-Fisher RW, Lynagh MC. Problem-based learning: a dissemination success story? Med J Aust. 2005;183(5):258-60.

Richardson D. Don’t dump the didactic lecture; fix it. Adv Physiol Educ 2008;32(1):23-4.