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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 142-143

Employment of co-operative learning as a teaching-learning method in undergraduate medical education


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission16-Apr-2021
Date of Decision20-May-2021
Date of Acceptance24-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication25-Sep-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjhs.mjhs_30_21

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  Abstract 


In the current health sector paradigm, we aim to deliver a patient-centered care through an interprofessional approach that works on teamwork and co-ordination. Co-operative learning refers to a teaching methodology wherein the groups of students learn mutually and eventually all the participants are benefited. In this method, the students interact with each other in small groups and in the process come out with answers and arrive at the consensus. Regardless of the multiple benefits that are being attributed to co-operative learning, it is quite surprising that this method has not been widely employed as a teaching-learning strategy in the field of undergraduate medical education. This calls for the need to identify the bottlenecks and then come out with feasible solutions to overcome the same. In conclusion, co-operative learning in medical education delivery is an effective strategy to ensure acquisition of knowledge in a student-centered approach and for the promotion of interpersonal skills. It is the right time that medical institutions explore the possibility of employment of co-operative learning within their settings and employ them appropriately to benefit the students as well as prepare them for team working.

Keywords: Co-operative learning, medical education, teamwork


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employment of co-operative learning as a teaching-learning method in undergraduate medical education. MRIMS J Health Sci 2021;9:142-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employment of co-operative learning as a teaching-learning method in undergraduate medical education. MRIMS J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 25];9:142-3. Available from: http://www.mrimsjournal.com/text.asp?2021/9/3/142/326735




  Introduction Top


In the current health sector paradigm, we aim to deliver a patient-centered care through an interprofessional approach that works on teamwork and co-ordination.[1] If that's the way to go about the task to ensure well-being of patients and their family members, it is quite expected that the undergraduate medical students are also trained in the similar lines in their training period. On the contrary, in most of the medical institutions distributed across the world, we still are going ahead with a teacher-centered approach, which in more than one way encourages a competitive environment among the medical students (norm-based assessments).[1]


  Need of the Hour: Working in Groups Top


This clearly enlightens that if we really aim to improve the health-care delivery, we should strongly consider how the medical students should be trained, so that they are better prepared and well-equipped to work as a leader and as a member of a health-care team.[2] Working in groups (viz. small group teaching, problem-based learning, case-based groups, research groups, collaborative learning, etc.) is a known entity in the field of medical education and becomes even more important in the clinical professional years, as the students learn from each other in a self-directed manner, wherein they are actively engaged and can relate with their future career.[2],[3]


  Co-Operative Learning and its Merits Top


Co-operative learning refers to a teaching methodology wherein groups of students learn mutually and eventually all the participants are benefited.[4] In this method, the students interact with each other in small groups and in the process come out with answers, arrive at consensus, which may or may not be the correct answer. Further, co-operative learning tends to promote better accomplishments, good psychological well-being, healthy interpersonal bonding, positive patient outcomes, and reduction in the incidence of iatrogenic errors, all of which can be directly correlated with effective teamwork.[4],[5] The findings of a study using co-operative learning among undergraduate students revealed that upon participation in the method, they developed better time management, collaboration, decision-making skills, and thus were able to successfully complete the given task.[4]


  Attributes of Co-Operative Learning Top


Co-operative learning is characterized by face-to-face interaction between learners, with each member being accountable for their assigned roles (which are being assessed by an individual or self or peer assessments). In addition, there is a scope for interdependence, wherein all the members together formulate common goals, tasks to be done as a part of the group, learning to be attained as a group and share the available resources, so that the task can be effectively done.[5] Another important feature of co-operative learning is that the participating members are exposed to important skills of leadership, communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, etc., which makes it extremely beneficial for the learners.[4]


  Areas Needing Attention Top


Regardless of the multiple benefits that are being attributed to co-operative learning, including the active engagement of students, it is quite surprising that this method has not been widely employed as a teaching-learning strategy in the field of undergraduate medical education. At the same time, not much literature is available clearly depicting that its application in the area of medical education delivery is minimal. This calls for the need to identify the bottlenecks (viz. lack of awareness among faculty members, untrained status, administrative support, etc.) and then comes out with feasible solutions to overcome the same.[4],[5]

The Medical Education Unit of the institution can play a defining role in capacity building and improving the grasp of the teachers on co-operative learning. As it has already been advocated by the regulatory body that didactic lectures should not constitute more than 33% of the teaching-learning session, we can very well adopt co-operative learning in our settings, as one of the small group teaching-learning approaches. Further, considering that students will be motivated toward learning, it will be an encouraging step to employ co-operative learning in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, co-operative learning in the medical education delivery is an effective strategy to ensure acquisition of knowledge in a student-centered approach and for the promotion of interpersonal skills. It is the right time that medical institutions explore the possibility of employment of co-operative learning within their settings and employ them appropriately to benefit the students as well as prepare them for team working.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Barreto LD, Guimarães Campos VD, Dal Poz MR. Interprofessional education in healthcare and health workforce (HRH) planning in Brazil: Experiences and good practices. J Interprof Care 2019;33:369-81.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Zhou Y, Diemers AD, Brouwer J, Muntinghe FL, Duvivier RJ, Pols J, et al. The influence of mixing international and domestic students on competency learning in small groups in undergraduate medical education. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:353.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
van Diggele C, Burgess A, Mellis C. Planning, preparing and structuring a small group teaching session. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:462.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kanthan R, Mills S. Cooperative learning in the first year of undergraduate medical education. World J Surg Oncol 2007;5:136.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Gibson DR, Campbell RM. The role of cooperative learning in the training of junior hospital doctors: A study of pediatric senior house officers. Med Teach 2000;22:297-301.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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Abstract
Introduction
Need of the Hour...
Co-Operative Lea...
Attributes of Co...
Areas Needing At...
Conclusion
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