Enhancing knowledge integration in biochemistry among undergraduate medical students through active learning strategy

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Introduction: Medical education today, encourages modification of traditional didactic lectures with innovations to promote active learning strategies to enhance integration of knowledge and critical thinking skills among students. Learning independently is challenging in year 1 of the undergraduate medical curriculum. However, defining the learning goals clearly by the instructor to the students will make them appreciate it and mould them into successful learners with deep approach. Aim: To enhance self-directed learning skills and to promote concept mapping ability to integrate the study of various metabolic functions and fundamental concepts in biochemistry. Materials and Methods: First year MBBS Student volunteers (n=127) in their second semester having an experience of over 30 weeks of learning biochemistry in an integrated system-wise approach were involved in this study. They were exposed to a self-directed active learning strategy for a period of 10 weeks, for linking important biochemical terms from the current learning objectives to various concepts and topics learnt earlier in the year. Student’s perspective regarding the above activity was documented by obtaining their responses in a closed ended questionnaire using Likert scale and was expressed as percentage. Results: Majority of the students (n=100, 79%) opined that it was a unique way of learning biochemistry and that they (n=111, 87%) were required to read up previous portions. Many students (n=100, 79%) felt that it made them more than mere rote learners and were able to integrate biochemistry topics more efficiently (n=109, 86%). Many students also felt that it helped them to improve their test scores (n=79, 62%). Conclusion: Active participation in the current study has made them learn the concept building skills in biochemistry and has proved to be an effective exercise of revisit to topics learnt throughout the year. Innovative curriculum delivery strategies should be designed to teach preclinical subjects in a medical school so that they shall infuse integrated learning approach in students. Concept building activities in a lecture set up shall generate curiosity in the process of learning and transform students into deep approach learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)CC01-CC03
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01-08-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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