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Original Article

Computer assisted learning: Perceptions and


Knowledge Skills of Undergraduate Medical
Students in a Malaysian Medical School.
Chitra Govindaraja1, Heethal Jai Prakash1, Chandramouli Annamalai2, Sharmila Sornam Vedhavathy1

ABSTRACT
Objective: Medical students often find it difficult to conceptualize the
1
various aspects of pharmacology. Interactive multimedia softwares have
Faculty of Medicine/ been designed in developed countries to demonstrate experiments in
Pharmacology at Mahsa pharmacology using virtual animals claiming benefits of the same. Our
University College, Malaysia. objective is to find out whether Computer Assisted Learning (CAL)
2 enhances understanding in Malaysian students and to assess their
Faculty of Medicine, University
cognitive skills (knowledge acquired and perceptions) with computer
Technology Mara (UiTM),
simulations in Pharmacology practical experiments.
Malaysia.
Methods: One hundred and twenty seven students attended the
Received: 26-03-2011 practicals. They filled a survey questionnaire on the outcomes, advantages
Revised: 27-04-2011 and disadvantages of the CAL session using simulations software. They
Accepted: 28-04-2011 took up tests before and after the CAL session. The data was analyzed
using descriptive statistics and proportion test.

Correspondence to: Results - The survey in the form of questionnaire indicated that >80% of
Dr. Chitra Govindaraja the students found the simulations to be good and 75% claimed that their
E mail : chitramouli88@
understanding had improved. Improvement in the knowledge acquired is
gmail.com
reflected in the post test.
Running head: CAL in a Malaysian
Medical School
Conclusion - Undergraduate medical students find that CAL reinforces the
lectures, enriches the learning experience and lets them personalize
learning at their own pace within the time-tabled slots.

KEY WORDS: Record Computer-Assisted Learning, Simulated


experiments, Pharmacology, Knowledge, Perceptions, thesis, obligation,
benefits

Introduction

National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | 2011 | Vol 1 | Issue 2 | 63 - 67


Govindaraja. et al.: CAL in a Malaysian Medical School

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Materials and Methods


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National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | 2011 | Vol 1 | Issue 2 | 63 - 67


Govindaraja. et al.: CAL in a Malaysian Medical School

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Figure 2: Advantages of Computer Simulated Pharmacology
Table 1: Assessment of knowledge acquired (Pre-test Experiments
and Post-test results). (n= 127)

Total
Standard No. of number
Average Percentage
Scores deviation passes of
(%) pass (%)
(%) (n) students
(n)

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64.36 18.04 105 82 127
test

Post-
75.41 17.09 117 92 126
test

P value = 0.0145

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Figure 1: The outcomes of computer simulated Figure 3: Disadvantages of Computer Simulated


pharmacology experiments. Pharmacology Experiments

National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | 2011 | Vol 1 | Issue 2 | 63 - 67


Govindaraja. et al.: CAL in a Malaysian Medical School

Discussion
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Conclusions

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Acknowledgement
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National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | 2011 | Vol 1 | Issue 2 | 63 - 67


Govindaraja. et al.: CAL in a Malaysian Medical School

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* >DD,M%>=#C$.>D Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of interest: None declared

National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | 2011 | Vol 1 | Issue 2 | 63 - 67