Annals of Educational Research and Reviews

The effect of extra small group session during PBL implementation on student's achievement


Mahmoud Salah Khalil and Mohammad Othman Al Rukban

Problem based learning (PBL) started to spread in health professions in Saudi Arabia at the beginning
of this century. There are several challenges facing its implementation such as defects on interpersonal
communications and self - directed learning. These challenges would affect students' performance in
small group discussions and their achievement on exams. We believed that, introducing midweek
sessions might improve students' performance. This intervention study included third year medical
students (36 students) . The students were randomly divided into two groups, A and B (18 students
each). An extra small group discussion was conducted with group A in the middle of the week
(midweek session) between the brain storming and debriefing sessions in haematopoietic and
immunology courses. At the end of the midweek session, the students were asked to summarize and
record their accomplishments. The scores marks ± SD at the end of each course examinations were
evaluated. Moreover, a questionnaire was designed to explore the students' opinion about the midweek
session. The data were analyzed and the studied groups were compared using analysis of variance
(ANOVA) and chi square tests. The means of the scores in continuous assessment and the end of the
course exams were significantly higher in group A compared to group B in both immunology and
haematopoietic courses. Moreover, a survey showed that the students have a positive feedback about
the implementation of the midweek session. The midweek session has a good impact on the students'
performance and achievement in problem-based learning.


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