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Original Research Paper

Comparing traditional and integrated curricula on physiology knowledge retention and application

Authors:

S. Fernando,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, LK
About S.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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A. Ellawala ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, LK
About A.
Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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A. Wijayasiri

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, LK
About A.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Abstract

Introduction: The Faculty of Medical Sciences revised its curriculum from traditional, subject-based, to an integrated, system-based one in 2007. This study aimed to assess and compare the ability to retain and apply knowledge in Physiology, among the last batch of students following the traditional curriculum and the first batch following the integrated curriculum.

 

Methods: Twenty true/false type applied Physiology questions from the 2nd year examinations of the two batches were administered separately when the students were in the final year. The marks were compared with those obtained for the same questions at the 2nd year examination. The difference between the two was considered the retention score. A SAQ comprising applied Physiology questions was also administered to assess application ability and the scores were compared.

 

Results: A total of 152 and 132 participated from the batches following the traditional and integrated curricula respectively. Both batches displayed a significant loss of knowledge by the final year (negative retention score). The knowledge loss was lower in academically average and high performing students of the integrated curriculum. Students following the integrated curriculum showed significantly higher ability to apply Physiology knowledge to clinical problems.

 

Conclusion: The students following the integrated curriculum were better in applying physiology knowledge to clinical scenarios and the retention of knowledge was also better among the average and high performing students following the integrated curriculum.
How to Cite: Fernando, S., Ellawala, A. and Wijayasiri, A., 2020. Comparing traditional and integrated curricula on physiology knowledge retention and application. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 13(2), pp.69–76. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/seajme.v13i2.213
Published on 30 Jan 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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