To introduce and measure the effectiveness of case based learning in physiology

Monika Bansal, Manoj Goyal


Background: Student/learner centered strategies are needed to promote active learning in the students. Medical Council of India (MCI) also encourages learner centric approaches. Objectives of the study were to develop case scenarios for teaching in Physiology and use them to teach 1st professional MBBS students and to evaluate the impact of this intervention on students’ learning.

Methods: After the approval from Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) the study was conducted on MBBS 1st professional students. The students were taught two topics using CBL strategy. Pre-post test score were taken for evaluation of students’ learning. Students’ feedback was taken to elicit their perceptions about the effectiveness of the strategy. Faculty feedback was also taken for feasibility and implementation of CBL.

Results: Majority of the students were satisfied with the session. Majority felt it to be a good learning experience and many wanted to attend more such sessions. Difference in the pre-post test scores was statistically highly significant.

Conclusions: CBL proved to be an interesting and effective active learning strategy. More of such sessions should be conducted to engage the students as felt by students and faculty both.


Active learning strategies, Case based learning, Medical education

Full Text:



Vision 2015. Medical Council of India.[available from tools/ announcement/ MCI_booklet.pdf] [Accessed on 17/8/2015]

Nair SP, Shah T, Seth S, Pandit N, Shah GV. Case Based Learning: A Method for Better Understanding of Biochemistry in Medical Students. J Clin Diag Res. 2013;7(8):1576-8.

Majeed F. Effectiveness of case-based teaching of physiology for nursing students. J Taibah University Med Scie. 2014;9(4):289e-292.

Surapaneni KM. The effect of integrated teaching with Case Based Learning (CBL) in the biochemistry of undergraduate medical curriculum. JCDR. 2010;5:3058-60.

Walters MR. Case-stimulated learning within endocrine physiology lectures: an approach to other disciplines. Adv Physiol Educ. 1999;276:74-8.

Meyer C, Jones TB. Case studies. In promoting Active Learning: Strategies for the College Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 1993;103-19.

Srinivasan M, Wilkes M, Stevenson F, Nguyen T, Slavin S, Comparing problem based learning with case based learning: effects of a major curricular shift at two institutions Acad Med. 2007;82(1):74-82.

Schoeman JP, Van Schoor M, van der Merwe LL, Meintjes RA. A case based small group Cooperative learning course in Pre-clinical Veterinary Science aimed at bridging basic science and clinical literacy. JS Afr Vet Assoc. 2009;80(1):31-6.

Ghosh S. Combination of didactic lectures & case oriented problem solving tutorials towards better learning perception of students from a conventional medical curriculum, Adv Physiology Education 2007;31(2);193-7.