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Published on:June 2022
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2022; 56(3):667-672
Review Article | doi:10.5530/ijper.56.3.114

Organizing and Conducting Small Group Interactive Learning Sessions

Authors and affiliation (s):

Pathiyil Ravi Shankar1, Rano Mal Piryani2, Subish Palaian3,4

1IMU Centre for Education, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

2Department of Pulmonology and Medical Education, Bilawal Medical College, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh, PAKISTAN.

3Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

4Center of Medical and Bio-Allied Health Sciences Research, Ajman University, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.


Interactive teaching/learning is becoming more common in medical schools. Basic science teaching is often considered dry, uninteresting, and considered by students to be not ‘directly’ relevant to their future career as practicing doctors and healers. Interactive, small group learning requires basic knowledge of facilitation skills and group dynamics. Students work together in small groups to solve problems and study in a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. Students assume more responsibility for their own learning and teachers must relinquish some of the traditional authority and act more as facilitators. Selection of the case scenarios or problems is important as it sets the boundaries and defines the learning objectives. A detailed lesson plan and timeline for activities is important. Creating a safe and supportive environment where students can make mistakes and learn is important. Group dynamics is important and the flip chart can be an effective learning aid. Small group sessions can be conducted in resource limited settings in developing countries. Students must self-regulate themselves during entire process of learning. Conflicts and disagreements need to be acknowledged and resolved. Both formative and summative evaluation is recommended for small group learning and is usually done both by the facilitator and by peers.

Keywords: Basic sciences, Group dynamics, Facilitation, Interactive learning, Small group learning.



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Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IJPER) [ISSN-0019-5464] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 1967.


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