Use of Dramatization to Teach Cardiac Cycle Physiology to Medical Students

Ehsan Dowlati, David W. Musick, Lin Zhang, Katherine Thornton, Helena Carvalho


Part of the educator’s mission is to develop new methodologies that promote active learning. This study examines the use of dramatization of the cardiac cycle in medical school. Two groups (n=42, 21 each) of first-year medical students participated. Group A was initially taught through dramatization alone, while Group B was taught through lecture followed by dramatization. Students completed a 13-item assessment (pretest and posttest) designed to measure knowledge of the cardiac system immediately before and after participating in the dramatization activity. Six months later students completed a third posttest assessment (follow-up) to assess their retention of cardiac cycle content. Students also rated their prior knowledge of general physiology and their confidence level in learning the material presented. Students in groups A and B scored at the same approximate level on the initial pretest (57% and 61% respectively, p=0.53). Scores for both groups increased significantly on the immediate posttest compared to pretest (p<0.0001). Both groups scored equally well on the immediate posttest (88% and 89% respectively, p=0.48), even though Group A had been taught the content based on dramatization alone. Both groups subsequently scored equally well on the six-month follow-up assessment (p<0.0001). Levels of self-reported confidence in knowledge also increased in both groups (p<0.05). This interactive teaching method increases student confidence in their knowledge and promotes learning in the short term equally well when compared to more traditional teaching methods. Implications for further research on dramatization as a teaching method are explored.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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