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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 582

Orienting Incoming Medical Students to the Process of PBL through Video

Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus, Manipal University, India

Date of Submission25-Nov-2010
Date of Acceptance15-Jan-2011
Date of Web Publication10-Aug-2011

Correspondence Address:
R Abraham
Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus, Manipal University, 576 104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22081660

How to cite this article:
Abraham R, Adiga I, George B. Orienting Incoming Medical Students to the Process of PBL through Video. Educ Health 2011;24:582

How to cite this URL:
Abraham R, Adiga I, George B. Orienting Incoming Medical Students to the Process of PBL through Video. Educ Health [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jan 19];24:582. Available from:

Dear Editor,

In medical education, video recordings are an important resource for imparting important information to students1,2. Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC), Manipal Campus, Manipal University, India incorporated problem-based learning (PBL) into the undergraduate curriculum in September 2006. In the course of school’s curriculum students are assessed on their active participation (sharing knowledge, questioning), presentations and accuracy of content presented in PBL sessions. This assessment of PBL behaviors is an important part of the school’s summative assessment of students; therefore the PBL Committee at MMMC felt it is important to orient students to the PBL process. New faculty are also oriented to PBL to familiarize them with the process they are to facilitate in upcoming PBL sessions.

Until recently, orientation was carried out with a mock PBL initial brainstorming session conducted first with faculty then with new students, using two different case scenarios. Due to preconceived notions of faculty about PBL, faculty mock PBL sessions were found to lack ‘realness’. The student PBL sessions were found to run too long. Because of these shortcomings, in February 2010 we began using video recordings of a functioning PBL group to orient new students, presenting both initial brainstorming and subsequent presentation sessions. During presentations, a faculty coordinator emphasized important steps of the PBL process for the new students, and as the video progressed pointed out the importance of active participation and explained the roles of the leader, scribe, group members and facilitator.

We explored students’ (n =162) perceptions regarding the video presentation through written questionnaires, with a 100% participation rate. One hundred eighteen students (73%) reflected that through the videos they understood about 75% of the PBL process (others reported either higher or lower) and students generally felt that video presentation reflected well the actual PBL process, with its active discussion, timely intervention of the facilitator, and roles of the group leader and scribe. They also felt that the real-time commentary helped them remember important details of the process. Some students (n=44; 27%) commented that they did not prefer video format over the mock sessions, as they found it boring.

The same video was shown to a group of 120 senior students who had observed faculty mock-PBL as part of their orientation one year prior. In a written survey with 100% participation, most (n=72; 60%) of these senior students indicated that they preferred the faculty mock PBL as they felt faculty experience made it more organized. Nevertheless 48 (40%) senior students felt that video was more effective as it better mimicked the real situation when students are involved.

With feedback from the two student groups on preferred PBL orienting modes somewhat divided, our school decided to use video presentation to orient future students for its convenience and requirement for fewer resources.

Reem Rachel Abraham, PhD
Indira Adiga, PhD
Bincy M George, PhD
Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus
Manipal University, India


1Hartsell T, Yuen S. Video streaming in online learning. Association for the Advancement of Computing (AACE) Journal. 2006; 14(1):31-43.

2Health C, Luff P, Sanchez M. Video and qualitative research: analyzing medical practice and interaction. Medical Education. 2007; 41:109-116.


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