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Small Group Teaching in Epidemiology Courses


avatar Azita Goshtasebi 1 , * , avatar A Zarifi 2 , avatar B Tarami 3 , avatar A Ghorbani 4

1 Faculty member, Yasuj University of Medicine

2 Faculty member, English language department, humanities faculty, Yasuj University, Yasuj, Iran

3 Faculty member, Math department, Yasuj University, Yasuj, Iran

4 General surgeon, Yasuj Medical University, Yasuj, Iran.

How to Cite: Goshtasebi A, Zarifi A, Tarami B, Ghorbani A. Small Group Teaching in Epidemiology Courses. J Med Edu. 2006;9(1):e105281.
doi: 10.22037/jme.v9i1.732.


Journal of Medical Education: 9 (1); e105281
Published Online: May 01, 2006
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 01, 2006
Accepted: May 01, 2006


Background and purpose: small group teaching(SGT) in is a known method for developing intellectual skills, changing attitudes and encouraging the taking of responsibilities for learning. This study was an attempt to compare students’ attitudes and knowledge scores on SGT and lecture -based teaching (LBT).Methods: 22 first year medical students were enrolled in a course using two methods (lecture- based and small group discussion) for teaching basic epidemiology. Data about attitudes and knowledge scores of the two methods were collected at the end of the course and analyzed using a two-sided Wilcoxon test.Results: The students were satisfied and preferred SGT in terms of Evaluation method for the course, Participatory learning and team working, effectiveness and developing self learning skills (p<0.001),and scored higher on topics of SGT(p<0.01), but believed that they needed longer discussion of the topics.Conclusion: Better question design and course organization and creating a safe, comfortable environment is essential for good performance. Integrating this teaching strategy in medical education curricula with appropriate professional and organizational development is suggested.


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© 2006, Journal of Medical Education. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.