Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Guidelines Contacts Login 
ISSN: Print -2349-0977, Online - 2349-4387


 
 Table of Contents  
MEDICAL EDUCATION: BACK TO BASICS
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 301-304

Evaluation of effectiveness of syndicate learning in oral medicine and radiology: Cardinal findings in a batch of final-year students


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sharad Pawar Dental College and Hospital, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Depertment of Dermatology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Faculty of School for Health Professionals Education and Research, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication28-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vidya K Lohe
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sharad Pawar Dental College and Hospital, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-0977.161625

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 

Introduction: Syndicate learning is a form of peer learning involving small groups of 5-6 students working in semi-independent groups toward achievement of a collective goal. Methods: Eighty final Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students were enrolled. Pre-test was conducted for regular batches posted for clinical posting in Oral Medicine and Radiology. Each batch was randomized into two equal sub-groups. Sub-group A and B were exposed to syndicate and traditional learning methods, respectively. Post-test was carried out. Crossover was done. Pre-test was again conducted. Sub-group A and B were exposed to traditional and syndicate learning, respectively. Post-test was again carried out. Results: In round one, scores of post-test were significantly better than pre-test in both subgroups A (pre-test - 2.40 ± 0.98, post-test - 4.45 ± 0.71) and B (pre-test - 2.47 ± 0.96; post-test; 3.57 ± 0.87). In round two after crossover, scores of post-test were significantly higher in both subgroup A (pre-test-2.30 ± 1.09; post-test-3.72 ± 0.84) and subgroup B (pre-test - 2.37 ± 1.12; post-test - 4.50 ± 0.59). Further, when subgroup A was compared with B, scores of post-test were significantly higher in the syndicate group compared with traditional group, before and after crossover. Conclusions: Syndicate groups can make learning experience more interesting; generate many opportunities for creative interchange of ideas and lively, meaningful participations and discussion among students.

Keywords: Crossover, post-test, pre-test, students perception, syndicate, traditional


How to cite this article:
Lohe VK, Singh A. Evaluation of effectiveness of syndicate learning in oral medicine and radiology: Cardinal findings in a batch of final-year students. Astrocyte 2015;1:301-4

How to cite this URL:
Lohe VK, Singh A. Evaluation of effectiveness of syndicate learning in oral medicine and radiology: Cardinal findings in a batch of final-year students. Astrocyte [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 May 22];1:301-4. Available from: http://www.astrocyte.in/text.asp?2015/1/4/301/161625


  Introduction Top


At graduation, a dental graduate must exhibit the competencies like knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The dental graduate must have a sound theoretical knowledge and understanding of key principles relating to radiographic interpretation and formulating a treatment plan and they should be able to apply these clinically. To meet this clinical requirement, dental colleges can have choice to select instructional approaches they consider most effective. Learning is an active and constructive process. The responsibility of a teacher is to provide an environment in which students are able to actively engage with subject matter in order to learn it.

Traditionally, during the clinical posting of Oral Radiology, final BDS students are taught about skills of radiographic interpretation in a batch of 10-12 students by the tutor. This type of learning is a passive and teacher centered and therefore the students may develop a minimal capacity for adopting a deep approach to learning, searching for deeper meaning and personal relevance in the topic and are therefore unable to apply learned concepts in new situations competently. Syndicate learning is a form of peer learning involving small groups of 5-6 students working in semi-independent (tutor-less) groups toward the achievement of a collective goal or task. [1] In this method students are likely to need to adopt an enquiring, problem-solving approach to collaboratively achieve the set task. The groups are focused on achieving a shared task rather than necessarily solving a problem. In syndicate learning groups, in order for groups to achieve their set task, students learn by actively listening to alternative arguments and by becoming open minded to assimilate others' ideas within what they already understand. Teaching peers and being taught by peers is a powerful way of deepening understanding. [2],[3] The implementation of syndicate group working to teach the basic principles and skills of radiographic interpretation covered in Oral Radiology to dental undergraduates may offer some valuable benefit to the undergraduate students.

Therefore the present study was undertaken with the following aim and objectives

Aim
"To evaluate effectiveness of syndicate learning in Oral Radiology designed for final BDS students".

Objectives

  • To evaluate effectiveness of syndicate learning in Oral Radiology designed for final BDS students
  • To compare efficacy of syndicate learning with traditional learning.



  Materials and Methods Top


This comparative, prospective, and interventional study was conducted after obtaining the prior approval from the institutional ethical committee of Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha in the department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sharad Pawar Dental College. All students of final BDS willing to voluntarily participate in the study were included. Students who were absent or not willing to voluntarily participate in the study were excluded. Total study duration was one year.

Eighty final BDS Students were enrolled as they came for their regular clinical posting in Oral Medicine and Radiology. All the participants already had the basic theoretical knowledge about the principles of radiographic interpretation and radiological features and differential diagnosis of important radiolucent bony lesions (core area) covered in regular theory classes. The skills of radiographic interpretation and the departmental standard reporting method were already discussed during their final year first term clinical postings. Informed consent was taken from all 80 final BDS students enrolled for this study. In the final BDS second term clinical posting of Oral Medicine and Radiology, a pre-test was conducted for the posted batch and then the batch was randomized by using systematic sampling into two equal sub-groups, that is, Group A and B (5-6 students per group).

Groups of students were briefed with a task and given background information and useful resources. Specific learning objectives were set. The students of Group A were exposed to the syndicate learning method by giving five radiographs having bony lesions for discussion. The students were free to use various resource materials like class notes, books, internet, etc., They had to complete the interpretation of the given radiographs by using the standard departmental reporting method in about 2 h during their clinical posting. Then the students presented the report of given radiographs to the tutor who gave constructive feedback followed by active discussion of the required areas for interaction. This was followed by post-test.

For comparing between syndicate and traditional learning methods, the students of Group B were exposed to the traditional learning method. Traditional learning method is a teacher-centered small group method wherein the students remain comparatively passive. Specific learning objectives were set. The students of Group B were exposed to the traditional learning method by using same five radiographs having radiolucent bony lesions. This was a tutor-led method in which these radiographs were directly discussed by the tutor. The students were free to interact with the tutor but not among the peers. This was followed by post-test.

For exposing both the batches to both syndicate and traditional learning method a crossover was done. A pre-test was conducted and the students of Group A were exposed to the traditional learning and Group B were exposed to the syndicate learning modality by using different five radiographs having radiolucent bony lesions. This was followed by post-test. This process was carried out for all the batches subsequently posted during their second term posting of final BDS.

Pre-test and post-test

Questions in pre-test and post-test were similar. Multiple choice questions were linked to learning objectives to assure content validity.

Analysis of the pre-test and post-test scores was done. The cognitive learning gain was calculated using the following formulae: [4],[5],[6]

  • Absolute learning gain = [(% post-test)-(% pre-test)]
  • Relative learning gain = [(% post-test)-(% pre-test)]/(% pre-test) Χ100
  • Normalize gain g= [(% post-test-% pre-test)]/100-(% pre-test)]


Effectiveness of intervention was determined if the range of 'Normalize gain g' is as: 0-0.29 - Low Gain; 0.30-0.69 - Medium gain; 0.70-1.0 - High gain. Data gathered was tabulated and analyzed using paired and unpaired 't' test.


  Observations and Results Top


The mean pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to syndicate learning method were 2.40 ± 0.98 and 4.45 ± 0.71, respectively. The mean pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to traditional learning method were 2.47 ± 0.96 and 3.57 ± 0.87, respectively [Table 1], [Graph 1 [Additional file 1] ].
Table 1: Mean Pre-Test and Post-Test Scores in Syndicate and Traditional Methods


Click here to view


For exposing both the batches to both syndicate and traditional learning methods, a crossover was carried out. After a crossover, the mean pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to traditional learning method were 2.30 ± 1.09 and 3.72 ± 0.84, respectively, and the mean pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to syndicate learning method were 2.37 ± 1.12 and 4.50 ± 0.59, respectively [Table 2], [Graph 2 [Additional file 2] ].
Table 2: Mean Pre-Test and Post-Test Scores in Syndicate and Traditional Methods After Crossover


Click here to view


Normalize gain 'g' in syndicate method was 0.78 and in traditional method was 0.43, therefore considered highly and moderately effective, respectively. Normalize gain 'g' in syndicate method after crossover was 0.80 and in traditional method after crossover was 0.52 and therefore considered highly and moderately effective, respectively. Absolute and Relative learning gain was also calculated [Table 3].
Table 3: Absolute Learning Gain, Relative Learning Gain and Normalize Gain 'G' in Syndicate and Traditional Methods Before and After Crossover


Click here to view


The data obtained from the study was tabulated and analyzed using paired and unpaired Student's 't' test. The difference in mean pre- and post-test scores of syndicate method, syndicate method after crossover, traditional method, and traditional method after crossover were subjected to Student's paired 't' test and "P" values were calculated. The difference in mean post-test scores of syndicate with traditional method and syndicate after crossover with traditional after crossover were subjected to Student's unpaired 't' test and "P" value was statistically significant (P < 0.001) [Table 4]. The difference in mean post-test scores of syndicate with traditional method and syndicate after crossover with traditional after crossover were subjected to Student's unpaired 't' test and "P" value was statistically significant (P < 0.001) [Table 4]. Also there was significant difference between mean post-test values of syndicate and traditional methods. When the data was subjected to Student's unpaired 't' te s t the, 'P' value was statistically significant (P < 0.001) [Table 5].
Table 4: Comparisons of Pre-Test and Post-Test Scores within the Two Groups by Paired 't' Test


Click here to view
Table 5: Comparisons of Two Teaching Methods by Unpaired 't' Test


Click here to view



  Discussion Top


In the past few decades, changes in health care delivery and advances in medicine have increased demands on academic faculty, resulting in less time for teaching than has previously been the case. [7] The importance of dental education is operating in an environment that promotes critical thinking and problem solving. Therefore the present study was undertaken.

When the data obtained from the study was subjected to paired 't' test, there was significant difference between mean pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to syndicate method and the 'P' value was statistically significant. Also there was significant difference between pre- and post-test scores of 40 students subjected to traditional method and the 'P' value was statistically significant. Although the above findings suggest that considerable learning has occurred in students subjected to both the methods, it was observed that there was significant difference between post-test scores of students subjected to syndicate and traditional methods. When the data obtained was subjected to unpaired 't' test, the 'P' value was statistically significant (P < 0.001). This implies that although traditional method was also effective, syndicate learning method was certainly more effective than traditional learning method. Similar results were seen after a crossover. This implies that after doing crossover also, although the traditional method was effective, syndicate learning method was undoubtedly more effective than traditional learning method.

This difference can be attributed to the tutor less and student centered quality of syndicate learning method. Syndicate group method is a form of peer learning. [8] Peer learning encourage students to take more responsibility, become more self-motivated and essentially adopt a more autonomous approach to their learning. In this method, the students are free to discuss among their peers and this interactions allow more active student participation that fosters both activation of prior knowledge, which ultimately helps in articulating previous knowledge, problem solving, and decision making. This method also increases conceptual learning and independent thinking. By its very nature, student-centered learning allows students to shape their own learning paths and places upon them the responsibility to actively participate in making their educational process a meaningful one. One of the strongest arguments in support of syndicate groups is that the absence of tutors in the groups can enable students to take more responsibility for their own learning. Whereas there is passive learning associated with traditional learning method.

Syndicate groups share some characteristics of problem-based learning, and indeed students are likely to need to adopt an enquiring, problem-solving approach to collaboratively achieve the set task. [1] It uses appropriate problems to increase knowledge and understanding. For teaching radiographs in Oral Radiology, giving real patients radiograph for discussion worked as a direct problem, which was done in the present study. Presentation of clinical material as the stimulus for learning enables students to understand the relevance of underlying scientific knowledge and principles in clinical practice. [9]


  Conclusion Top


The current teaching styles and techniques should emphasize on the development of students 'clinical problem solving and decision making' skills that are routinely applied in dental practice. Syndicate groups create many opportunities for creative interchange of ideas and lively and meaningful participations. This approach would ensure that, in addition to gaining subject-specific knowledge, students are also able to apply the obtained knowledge to solve problems. The present study suggests that syndicate group is better than the traditional method and can become an appropriate method as an adjunctive instruction tool.

Limitations

In the present study, only extra oral radiographs were taught by syndicate group method.

Scope

Syndicate group method can replace traditional method for teaching extra oral radiographs. The study can also be extended to teach clinical slides consisting of photographs of pathologic lesions. This new method can become an appropriate method to enable undergraduate students to meet the course objectives.

 
  References Top

1.
McKerlie RA, Cameron DA, Sherriff A, Bovill C. Student perceptions of syndicate learning: Tutor-less group work within an undergraduate dental curriculum. Eur J Dent Educ 2012;16:e122-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hendelman WJ, Boss M. Reciprocal peer teaching by medical students in the gross anatomy laboratory. J Med Educ 1986;61:674-80.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Ten Cate O, Durning S. Peer teaching in medical education: Twelve reasons to move from theory to practice. Med Teach 2007;29:591-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Colt HG, Davoudi M, Murgu S, Zamanian Rohani N. Measuring learning gain during a one-day introductory bronchoscopy course. Surg Endosc 2011;25:207-16.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Hake RR. Interactive-engagement vs traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. Am J Phys 1998;66:64-74.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Prather EE, Rudolph AL, Brissenden G. Teaching and learning astronomy in the 21st century. Phys Today 2009;62:41-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Ozuah PO. Undergraduate medical education: Thoughts on future challenges. BMC Med Educ 2002;2:8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Collier G, Clarke R. Syndicate methods: Two styles compared. High Educ 1986;15:609-18.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Wood DF. Clinical review on ABC of learning and teaching in medicine Problem based learning. Br Med J 2003;326:328-30.  Back to cited text no. 9
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Materials and Me...
Observations and...
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed1079    
    Printed16    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded127    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]