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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-200

Experiential learning: How pedagogy is changing in medical education

Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission30-Mar-2022
Date of Decision15-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance26-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication01-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manish Taywade
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_35_22

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Kolb's cycle of experiential learning is the new method of pedagogy for medical education. It is helpful in the integration of book knowledge and practical knowledge, which is an essential component in competency-based medical education. Experiential learning is helpful for students and more interesting also for them.

Keywords: Experiential learning, medical education, medical students, pedagogy

How to cite this article:
Pal D, Taywade M, Gopi K. Experiential learning: How pedagogy is changing in medical education. Curr Med Issues 2022;20:198-200

How to cite this URL:
Pal D, Taywade M, Gopi K. Experiential learning: How pedagogy is changing in medical education. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 7];20:198-200. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2022/20/3/198/352976

  Introduction Top

From the beginning of medical education, the traditional teaching method is going on with less integration between book knowledge and practical knowledge.[1] In medical education, this integration is required, where a student learns things in class and performs the activity during the time of service provided to the patients. To become a five-star doctor (community leader, decision-maker, service provider, manager, and communicator), a medical student must learn both theory and practical aspects.[2]

  Competency-Based Medical Education Top

Currently, in most countries, problem-based learning is mandatory. The competency-based medical education (CBME) introduced by the Medical Council of India (now known as the National Medical Commission) clearly emphasizes this CBME.[3]

  Why is Competency-Based Medical Education Required? Top

With the traditional teaching–learning method, students can gain knowledge quickly, but there would be difficulty in becoming a five-star doctor as knowledge is not being disseminated in practice.[4] To counteract the issue from Flexnerian traditions, we are shifting toward CBME.[5],[6] The integration of knowledge with practice could be achieved by experiential learning. In CBME, there would be an amalgamation of the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.[7]

  Problem-Based Learning and Experiential Learning Top

Problem-based learning was first implemented on a large scale by McMaster University in Canada in the 1960s, which was later followed by medical schools in Europe and America.[8] It can be said that experiential learning is an extension of problem-based learning when a case- or scenario-oriented student-directed pedagogy helps in gaining experience in the long term. In its continuation, there will be a reflection upon own work, and there will be the implementation of the learning in practice.[9]

  How is the Concept of Experiential Learning Came? Top

Experiential learning is the teaching–learning method where students learn by performing skills and by reflecting on experience. The theory of experiential learning was surfaced by David A. Kolb in 1984.[10]

  How Does Experiential Learning Work? Top

  1. Concreate experience: Learner encounters a new experience or engages in a reinterpretation process of an existing experience
  2. Reflective observation: The learner reviews and reflects on the new experience and identifies any inconsistencies between experience and understanding
  3. Abstract conceptualization: The learner creates a new idea/concept or modifies an existing abstract concept by analyzing the concepts and forming conclusions and generalizations
  4. Active experimentation: Learner plans and tries out what was learned and can apply the new knowledge to other situations. Conclusions and generalizations are used to test hypotheses, and thus, the learner engages in new experiences. [Figure 1] depicts the process of experiential learning.
Figure 1: How experiential learning works.

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  Why is Experiential Learning Required? Top

In CBME, the learning is self-directed and self-motivated.[11] It is already known that self-directed learning is more useful for students of all fields, as it causes active engagement among learners that will help in an increased level of learning.[12] Experiential learning is found to benefit the learners with respect to CBME. It also increases interest and learning level among students.[13] The different other benefits from experiential learning can be enlisted below:[14],[15]

  1. Within the same period, the learning could be finished by gaining both theory and practical knowledge
  2. Patient care will be more attached to the learning in medical schools
  3. The subject chosen for postgraduation will be helped for undergraduates.

  Do Students Think that Experiential Learning is a Benefit for Them? Top

In AIIMS Bhubaneswar, one lecture class was organized by the Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students for 1 h. The topic of the class was outbreak investigation. In the class, one virtual scenario was given to the student regarding one outbreak. The students were distributed in small groups, and they did the investigation virtually, followed by being taught regarding their mistakes. Then, they did the outbreak investigation activity for another scenario successfully. At the end of the class, their feedback was taken, and the result is depicted below. The feedback was taken on a scale of 1–10, where 1 is the lowest score related to the benefit of this class and 10 is the highest score related to the benefit of this class. The result is presented in [Table 1].
Table 1: Rating given by the students regarding the outbreak management class

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A similar result was also found by Ti et al. regarding the learning of endotracheal intubation, where the experiential learning group performed endotracheal intubation better in comparison to the guided group (64.5% vs. 36.9%, P < 0.001).[16] In another study done by Zhao et al. regarding the effectiveness of the combined problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL), it was found that in PBL–CBL group, the mean total quiz score, the basic knowledge, and case analysis scores increased significantly (P < 0.001) along with significant performance improvement in comparison with the traditional groups (increasing from 52.76 to 70.51 versus from 67.03 to 71.97).[4]

  Conclusion Top

From the initial days of medical education, traditional teaching has given more focus to knowledge based on books. However, with progression in time and the appearance of the concept of CBME, it is high time for students to go beyond the bookish knowledge and integrate both book and practical knowledge. This integration could be easily achievable by experiential learning, which was found effective and interesting.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Vallée A, Blacher J, Cariou A, Sorbets E. Blended learning compared to traditional learning in medical education: Systematic review and meta-analysis. J Med Internet Res 2020;22:e16504.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ma L, Kaye AD, Bean M, Vo N, Ruan X. A five-star doctor? online rating of physicians by patients in an internet driven world. Pain Physician 2015;18:E15-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
UG Curriculum | NMC. National Medical Commision; 2018. Available from: https://www.nmc.org.in/information-desk/for-colleges/ug-curriculum/. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 4].  Back to cited text no. 3
Zhao W, He L, Deng W, Zhu J, Su A, Zhang Y. The effectiveness of the combined problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL) teaching method in the clinical practical teaching of thyroid disease. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:381.  Back to cited text no. 4
Finnerty EP, Chauvin S, Bonaminio G, Andrews M, Carroll RG, Pangaro LN. Flexner revisited: The role and value of the basic sciences in medical education. Acad Med 2010;85:349-55.  Back to cited text no. 5
Duffy TP. The flexner report – 100 years later. Yale J Biol Med 2011;84:269-76.  Back to cited text no. 6
Hamza DM, Ross S, Oandasan I. Process and outcome evaluation of a CBME intervention guided by program theory. J Eval Clin Pract 2020;26:1096-104.  Back to cited text no. 7
Jones RW. Problem-based learning: Description, advantages, disadvantages, scenarios and facilitation. Anaesth Intensive Care 2006;34:485-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Fiss AL, Rapport MJ, Gagnon K, Wynarczuk K, Kendall E, Schreiber J. Experiential learning in pediatric physical therapist education: Faculty and student perceptions. Pediatr Phys Ther 2021;33:171-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Kolb DA. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. vol. 1. 2nd ed. New Jersey, USA: FT Press; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 10
Kong Y. The role of experiential learning on students' motivation and classroom engagement. Front Psychol 2021;12:771272.  Back to cited text no. 11
Wang Y, Derakhshan A, Zhang LJ. Researching and practicing positive psychology in second/foreign language learning and teaching: The past, current status and future directions. Front Psychol 2021;12:731721.  Back to cited text no. 12
Prashant A, Devegowda D, Vishwanath P, Nataraj SM. Impact of experiential learning among medical undergraduates: A randomized controlled trial. J Educ Health Promot 2020;9:306.  Back to cited text no. 13
Hu CX, Abraham A, Mitra AK, Griffiths SM. The benefits of experiential learning in global public health. Public Health 2016;136:196-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Encouraging experiential learning throughout the period of medical training. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res (KLEU) 2021;14:290.  Back to cited text no. 15
Ti LK, Chen FG, Tan GM, Tan WT, Tan JM, Shen L, et al. Experiential learning improves the learning and retention of endotracheal intubation. Med Educ 2009;43:654-60.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]


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