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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 33-37

Qualitative assessment of learning strategies among medical students using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews


1 Department of Pharmacology, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Central Research Services, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
4 Department of Anatomy, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
5 Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology, People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
6 Department of Pediatrics and Medical Education, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anuradha Sujai Joshi
Department of Pharmacology, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijabmr.IJABMR_144_17

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Background: Globally, students with top academic performance and high intellectual capacity usually opt to study medicine. However, once students get enrolled, their academic performance varies widely. Such variations appear to be determined by various factors, one of them being types of learning strategies adopted by students. The learning strategies utilized by the students with better academic performance are likely to be more effective learning strategies. Aims and Objectives: The objective is to identify effective learning strategies used by medical students. Methodology: This study was carried out among the MBBS students of Final Professional Part I. Students were categorized into three groups namely: high, average, and low rankers based on overall academic performance in second Professional University examination. First, a questionnaire consisting of closed- and open-ended questions was administered to students, to find their learning strategies. Subsequently, focus group discussion and in-depth interviews were conducted for high- and low-rankers. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Key statements were highlighted, collated, and categorized into general themes and sub-themes. Results: Evident themes which emerged as effective strategies were hard work in the form of regularity of studies, meticulous preparation of notes, constructive use of time, utilization of e-learning, learning styles and deep learning approach and regular ward visits. Intrinsic motivation, family support, balancing physical activities and studies, guidance by seniors, teachers, dealing with nonacademic issues such as language barriers and stress were also identified as important strategies. Conclusions: Disseminating effective learning strategies in a systematic manner may be helpful to students in achieving better academic outcomes. Furthermore, educationists need to modulate their teaching strategies based on students' feedback.


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