AIOU Course Code 8601-1 Solved Assignment Autumn 2021

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Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad

Question No. 1: Give answer to the following short questions.

  • The personal and professional qualities of teachers.
  • What is a case method?
  • Define and compare active learning and cooperative learning.

(iv) What is lesson planning? Write down the five merits of lesson planning for the teachers.


The personal and professional qualities of teachers

Personal qualities are what make a person unique, allow them to navigate a new situation, make new friends and connections, or work through conflict or tensions. Important personal qualities for English teachers include listening and being a good listener, thoughtfulness, being personable, timeliness, and adaptability.An ideal teacher is someone who has a combination of qualities, such as being very knowledgeable on his subject, able to effectively manage his classroom, genuinely enjoys teaching and dealing with students, has high expectations for his students, good communication skills and an engaging teaching style.If a candidate has good interpersonal skills, he or she is likely to be a better fit for an organization. And when two candidates with similar professional qualities interview for a job, the one with a more fitting personality is likely to get the job.

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

I feel that to be a professional teacher it is necessary that you have patience. Some children may take longer to understand certain subjects or pieces of information and it is vital that you are patient and take the time to fully explain so that they understand and learn from your teaching. During school, I found that in particular subjects I would require the teacher to explain things in a little more depth before I fully understood, and this would only help my learning if the teacher had the patience to spend extra time on the same thing. Many teachers wouldn’t do this and I would therefore struggle in their subjects. I feel that it is unacceptable for a teacher to act this way. As a teacher it is your job to make sure that all pupils can work and learn to the best of their ability, and without the patience to do so you are not fulfilling your role as a professional teacher. In my opinion, a professional teacher would consider their teaching style to make sure that it is meeting the needs of all learners, remembering that everyone learns in different ways – visually, orally and kinesthetically.

Personally, I feel that empathy is a very important quality in being a professional teacher. Being empathetic allows teachers to understand their pupils’ emotions and gives them the ability to relate to them. Pupils will originate from various cultures and backgrounds and so teachers need to be able to understand each individual’s situation as this will help the children to feel more comfortable to discuss any problems which they might be having at home. I feel that integrity is an important characteristic for a professional teacher to have. Integrity is the quality of honesty and having strong moral principles and so it is necessary for the teacher to have these so that the pupils can be educated to act in the same way. Pupils should see their teachers as a figure to look up to and so integrity allows teachers to be a role model for their pupils.

I have chosen these five qualities to be the most important from the list, however I believe that all of the qualities listed are important and that they should come naturally to a professional teacher.

Case method

Cases are narratives, situations, select data samplings, or statements that present unresolved and provocative issues, situations, or questions (Indiana University Teaching Handbook, 2005). The case method is a participatory, discussion-based way of learning where students gain skills in critical thinking, communication, and group dynamics. It is a type of problem-based learning . Often seen in the professional schools of medicine, law, and business, the case method is now used successfully in disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, education, and journalism. Students can work through a case during class as a whole or in small groups.

In addition to the definition above, the case method of teaching (or learning):

Is a partnership between students and teacher as well as among students.Promotes more effective contextual learning and long-term retention.Involves trust that students will find the answers.Answers questions not only of “how” but “why.”Provides students the opportunity to “walk around the problem” and to see varied perspectives.

Bruner (1991) states that the case method:

Is effective: It employs active learning, involves self-discovery where the teacher serves as facilitator.

Builds the capacity for critical thinking: It uses questioning skills as modeled by the teacher and employs discussion and debates.

Exercises an administrative point of view: Students must develop a framework for making decisions.

Models a learning environment: It offers an exchange and flow of ideas from one person to another and achieves trust, respect, and risk-taking.

Models the process of inductive learning-from-experience: It is valuable in promoting life-long learning. It also promotes more effective contextual learning and long-term retention.

Mimics the real world: Decisions are sometimes based not on absolute values of right and wrong, but on relative values and uncertainty.

Comparison of active learning and cooperative learning

Cooperative learning

Cooperative learning is a technique that allows students to learn from each other and gain important interpersonal skills. Learn the definition of cooperative learning and the benefits of this teaching technique in the classroom, explore how to group students when using this technique, and discover strategies for developing assignments using cooperative learning.

There are many benefits that can result from using cooperative learning strategies. Here are benefits you might notice after implementing cooperative learning tasks in your classroom:

  1. Cooperative learning is fun, so students enjoy it and are more motivated.
  2. Cooperative learning is interactive, so students are engaged, active participants in the learning.
  3. Cooperative learning allows discussion and critical thinking, so students learn more and remember what they’ve learned for a longer period of time.
  4. Cooperative learning requires students to learn to work together, which is an important skill for their futures.

Active learning

Active learning methods ask students to engage in their learning by thinking, discussing, investigating, and creating. In class, students practice skills, solve problems, struggle with complex questions, make decisions, propose solutions, and explain ideas in their own words through writing and discussion. Timely feedback is critical to this learning process either from the instructor or peer feedback from fellow students. Education research shows that incorporating active learning strategies into university courses significantly enhances student learning experiences.

Benefits of active learning

Opportunities to process course material through thinking, writing, talking, and problem solving give students multiple avenues for learning.Applying new knowledge helps students encode information, concepts, and skills in their memories by connecting it with prior information, organizing knowledge, and strengthening neural pathwaysReceiving frequent and immediate feedback helps students correct misconceptions and develop a deeper understanding of course material. Working on activities helps create personal connections with the material, which increases students’ motivation to learn. Regular interaction with the instructor and peers around shared activities and goals helps create a sense of community in the classroom. Instructors may gain more insight into student thinking by observing and talking with students as they work. Knowing how students understand the material helps instructors target their teaching in future lessons.

(iv) What is lesson planning? Write down the five merits of lesson planning for the teachers.

A lesson plan is the instructor’s road map of what students need to learn and how it will be done effectively during the class time. Then, you can design appropriate learning activities and develop strategies to obtain feedback on student learning. Having a carefully constructed lesson plan for each 3-hour lesson allows you to enter the classroom with more confidence and maximizes your chance of having a meaningful learning experience with your students.

A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates three key components:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Learning activities
  • Assessment to check for student understanding

A lesson plan provides you with a general outline of your teaching goals, learning objectives, and means to accomplish them, and is by no means exhaustive. A productive lesson is not one in which everything goes exactly as planned, but one in which both students and instructor learn from each other.



Question No. 2:Explain the factors of effective teaching

Students are the future of the nation and then stand at one pole of the education system in which teachers are at the other pole. The process of learning-teaching runs smoothly with the help of both of these poles. These two poles of the education system make a perfect balance and take the system to another height. Teachers work hard, collect information, and impart knowledge to students in the process of teaching. There are certain direct and indirect factors that affect the learning process or teaching. In the article, we will learn about the factors affecting teaching.

The teaching process gets affected by various parameters such as teachers, learners, and the environmental factors. These three factors make the whole process of learning easy and smooth. Learning in a student’s life is very important as it builds the base of their career professionally and personally.

The three factors affecting teaching are as:

  • Learners Psychological /Individual Characteristic
  • Teachers and Classroom supports
  • Environment and other surrounding factors

Factors affecting teaching


Teachers are the pillars for their students. They play the most important role in their students’ life by providing support, boosting their confidence, guiding them in the right direction, and of course teaching them. They are the facilitator of learning in the learning-teaching process. The best teacher is one who is able to apply the best teaching method to teach students and guide them towards a quality learning process.

The quality of a teacher derives from the various factors such as:

Educational Qualification

Educational qualification of a teacher decides their knowledge. By getting a higher degree in the teaching, a teacher will be able to impart knowledge to the students in depth and of quality. On comparing the teachers who have M.ED or PhD degrees with others who do not have, you will be able to differentiate the different ways of their thinking and the ways of imparting knowledge to students.


Skills matter a lot. Sometimes a teacher with a lower degree of teaching has better skills of teaching than a teacher with a higher degree of teaching. It is not sure that teachers with higher degrees have the right instincts and can teach in a better way than teachers with lower degrees. Teaching skills are decided on how teachers connect to students, what teaching methods apply on students, how they explain the concepts to students, and what their attitude towards students.

  • Their communication skills should be effective and engaging.
  • Selection of suitable teaching method
  • Applying the right teaching aids.
  • Their approach towards teaching students
  • How they guide and monitor students.


Graduating in a degree of teaching is not that much tough as getting mastery in experience. Experience holds an important place when you are teaching students. Some aspirants acquire high qualifications which can make them qualified for teaching but lacking in experience hamper their progress.

With high qualifications, teachers can get a better understanding of the different topics or complex formulas but experience helps teachers to deal with the students and prepare them for how to teach students.

 Subject matter

There comes a time when teachers who do not have knowledge of a particular subject are assigned to teach that subject. In such a situation, passion and motivation to research about the topic and teach students help them. Subject matter does really matter. However, the chances of assigning subjects which are not the forte of a teacher are very rare.

The syllabus of the subject is formed by educationists and psychologists keeping the mental and physical capabilities of students in mind. The important subject matter related factors which influence teaching are the difficulty of the task, length of the task, meaningfulness of the task, similarity of the task, organized material, and life learning.


Physiological and psychological factors of learners are the factors affecting teaching. Every individual studying in a class possesses different qualities and require different teaching methods. It is necessary to take note of the intelligence of students, ethnic groups of students, race, belief and socioeconomic status of the learners when teaching in the classroom.

The interest of each student in the class is also different which depends on aptitude, attitude, motivation, mental health and aspiration towards the goals of their life.The maturity, age, motivation, previous learning, intelligence, mental health, physical need, diet and nutrition, attention and interest, goal-setting and level of aspiration are the factors affecting teaching related to learners.


The factors affecting the environment of the teaching are as follows.

Support materials

Teachers have their support system which consists of tools that helps them to improve their capacity of teaching. The different teaching aids help to analyze the area in which students are not taking interest or under performing. This also helps them to adopt effective strategies that teach students. Support materials in teaching are effective tools for:

  • Assessments and scores of students
  • Teaching Strategies and lesson plans
  • Standards and benchmark
  • Effective use of traditional and modern tools

 Instructional facilities

With the available teaching aids, teachers can cover a wide area of learning. It has many benefits such as differentiating instruction, relieving anxiety, helping learners to improve reading comprehension skills, illustrating or reinforcing a skill, presenting information in an effective way.

Learning environment

Learning environment is where a student learns and a teacher teaches. The classroom environment is the learning environment for students which plays an important role in the learning process. Both students and teachers get affected by the classroom environment. The environment for the learning is well maintained by active participation in education, concentration of students, teachers’ focus on behavior of students etc. The environment of learning must be positive.

 Socio-economic factor

The socio-economic background of students and teachers affect the learning process in an indirect way. It shows differences in the thinking level of students and teachers towards others. The economic factor of students sometimes gets dominated by teachers and its impact on the teaching quality of the teachers.


Expectation is a very common factor affecting teaching. It affects learners and teachers as well. Every parent has some sort of expectation with their children as they want their children to get quality education and they learn maximum when they go to schools.

This puts a psychological impact on students and sometimes it results in stress and impairments.

So, the parents should involve the students in the process of learning in such a way that they ease their process instead of putting a burden on them. Also, teachers should not be put under pressure of expectations.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training published the Core Teaching Skills in 1982 which laid stress on the following teaching skills.

  • Writing instructional objectives
  • Organizing the content
  • Creating set for introducing the lesson
  • Introducing a lesson
  • Structuring classroom questions
  • Question delivery and its distribution
  • Response management
  • Explaining
  • Illustrating with examples
  • Using teaching aids
  • Stimulus variation
  • The pacing of the lesson
  • Promoting pupil participation
  • Use of blackboard
  • Achieving closure of the lesson
  • Giving assignments
  • Evaluating the pupil’s progress
  • Diagnosing pupil learning difficulties and taking remedial measures
  • Management of the class

Micro Teaching

Micro-teaching implies micro-element which simplifies the complexities of the teaching process. It concentrates on using specific teaching methods and offers opportunities for practicing teaching under controlled conditions.

There are many factors affecting teaching which are based on teacher-student relationship, socioeconomic conditions, policy and motivation of schools etc.

Question No. 3:What is Gagne’s frame work for instructional development?

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

Robert Gagne was an educational psychologist who created a nine step process called the Events of Instruction. Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction model helps trainers, educators, and instructional designers structure their training sessions. The model is a systematic process that helps them develop strategies and create activities for instructional classes. The nine events provide a framework for an effective learning process. Each step addresses a form of communication that supports the learning process. When each step is completed, learners are much more likely to be engaged and to retain the information or skills that they are being taught. The steps essentially give designers an outline or prototype to use prior to performing teaching or training activities.

 Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

  1. Gaining attention (reception)
  2. Informing learners of the objective (expectancy)
  3. Stimulating recall of prior learning (retrieval)
  4. Presenting the stimulus (selective perception)
  5. Providing learning guidance (semantic encoding)
  6. Eliciting performance (responding)
  7. Providing feedback (reinforcement)
  8. Assessing performance (retrieval)
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer (generalization)

 The Conditions of Learning

The Conditions of Learning, Gagne identified the mental conditions for learning.   These were based on the information processing model that focuses on the cognitive events that occur when learners are presented with a stimulus. Gagne Nine Events of Instruction are connected to and address the Conditions of Learning. Gagne divides the conditions into two groups; internal and external. Internal conditions are the already established learned capabilities of the learner. Basically, what the learner knows prior to the instruction. External conditions deal with the stimuli that is presented externally to the learner (e.g. instruction provided to the learner). These Conditions of Learning are essential to Gagne’s Events of Instruction. Gagne’s model allows instructional designers to consider the possible internal and external conditions that have an effect on the learning process.









Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

  1. Gaining Attention (Reception)

Begin the learning session by gaining the attention of the learners. Ensure the learners are motivated to learn and participate in activities by presenting a stimulus to gain their attention. This can be accomplished by presenting the learners with an introductory activity that engages the learner.

Techniques for gaining learner’s attention include:

  • Stimulate learners with novelty or surprise
  • Pose thought-provoking questions
  • Have learners pose questions to be answered by other learners
  • Present an intriguing problem
  • Present a new and interesting situation that provokes curiosity
  • Present meaningful and relevant challenge
  1. Informing Learners of the Objective (Expectancy)

After gaining their attention, inform the learners of the learning objectives to help them understand what they will be learning during the session. State what the learners will be able to accomplish during the session and how they will be able to use the knowledge in the future. This allows the learners to organize their thoughts on what they will learn and help place them in the proper mind set.

Techniques for stating the objectives include:

  • Describe what they will be able to do at the completion of the session
  • Describe required performance
  • Describe criteria for standard performance
  • Explain how their learning will benefit them
  1. Stimulating Recall of Prior Learning (Retrieval)

Help the learners make sense of new information by relating it to something they already know or something they have already experienced. To accomplish this present the learner with an experience or cue that stimulates their prior knowledge. Make connections between what they are learning, and their previous learning. When people learn something new, it is best to correlate the new information with related information or topics they have learned in the past.

Methods for stimulating recall include:

  • Ask if they have any previous experiences with the topic
  • Ask questions about previous experiences
  • Ask about their understandingof previous concepts
  • Give them an example of an experience similar to what they are learning
  1. Presenting the Stimulus (Selective Perception)

Present the learner with the new information using learning strategies to provide effective and efficient instruction. Organize and chunk content in a meaningful way. Provide explanations after demonstrations.

  • Ways to present session content include:
  • Organize your information in a logical and easy-to-understand manner.
  • Chunk information
  • Provide examples
  • Utilize multiple delivery methods (e.g., video, demonstration, lecture, podcast, group work)
  • Use a variety of text, graphics, figures, pictures, sounds, simulations, etc. to stimulate the senses
  • Use a variety of approaches (such as visual cues, verbal instruction, and active learning) to suit people with different learning styles / preferences.
  1. Providing Learning Guidance (Semantic Encoding)

Offer the learner guidance by providing coaching on how to learn the skill. Give examples and advise of strategies to aid them in the learning content and of resources available to them. Also, provide guidance using cues, hints, and/or prompts to help them understand and remember what they are learning.

Ways to provide learning guidance include:

  • Concept mapping for associations
  • Mnemonics to cue and prompt learning
  • Role playing for visualization of application
  • Case studies for real world application
  • Analogies to help knowledge construction
  • Graphics to make visual associations
  1. Eliciting Performance (Responding)

Let the learner do something with the newly acquired behavior, skills, or knowledge. Provide them with practice activities to activate the learning process. This activity allows the learner to internalize the new information (skills and knowledge) and to ensure correct understanding and application of the knowledge/concepts.

Ways to activate learner processing include:

  • Have the learner do something with the newly acquired behavior
  • Have the learn demonstrate practicing skills
  • Have the learner apply knowledge to a scenario or case study
  • Ask questions so that they can show their knowledge
  • Ask the learner to demonstrate how to use it
  • Have them complete a role playing exercise
  1. Providing Feedback (Reinforcement)

After the learner attempts to demonstrate their knowledge, provide immediate feedback of learner’s performance to assess and facilitate learning. This is also a good time to reinforce any important points.This stage helps reinforcement of a correct answer, gives guidance as to the degree of correctness of the task, and/or provides corrective feedback if the response or behavior is incorrect.

Tips on providing feedback:

  • Be positive
  • Be objective
  • Use first-hand observation
  • Deliver focused and concise feedback
  • Focus on areas the student can control
  1. Assessing Performance (Retrieval)

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional events, administer a test the learner to determine if the expected learning outcomes have been achieved. Performance should be based on previously stated objectives.

Methods for assessing performance learning include:

  • Written test
  • Short questionnaires
  • Short essays
  • Oral questioning
  • Other measurement tool to show that they’ve learned the material or skill effectively
  1. Enhancing Retention and Transfer (Generalization)

Give the learner resources that enhance retention and transfer of knowledge so that they are able to internalize the new knowledge and enhance his or her expertise. Repeated practice with effective feedback is the best way to ensure that people retain information and use it effectively.

  • Methods for helping learners internalize new knowledge include:
  • Having them summarize content
  • Having them generate examples
  • Having them create mind maps / concept maps
  • Having them create outlines
  • Having them create job-aids
  • Having them create other types of reference material



Question No. 4:How are objectives stated in behavioral terms?

A behavioral objective is a learning outcome stated in measurable terms, which gives direction to the learner’s experience and becomes the basis for student evaluation.Objectives may vary in several respects. They may be general or specific, concrete or abstract, cognitive, affective, or psychomotor. Cognitive objectives emphasize intellectual outcomes, such as knowledge, understanding, and thinking skills. Affective objectives emphasize feeling and emotion, such as interests, values, attitudes, appreciation, and methods of adjustment. Psychomotor objectives emphasize motor skills, such as physical assessment skills and administration of chemotherapy.

Points in writing behavioral objectives:

  1. Begin each behavioral objective with a verb. The critical aspect of any behavioral objective is the verb selected to indicate expected behavior from learning activities.
  2. State each objective in terms of learner performance. A behavioral objective is one that is considered to be observable and measurable. Behavior is generally construed to be an action of an individual that can be seen, felt, or heard by another person.
  3. State each objective so that it includes only one general learning outcome.

Examples of objectives

At the graduate level of nursing education, it is expected that learning objectives will be general, abstract, and cognitive or affective. Examples of appropriate objectives for graduate students are as follows:

  • Cognitive: Create an assessment tool based on a nursing theory for patients experiencing pain.
  • CognitiveEvaluate the usefulness of nursing research in clinical practice.
  • Affective: Accept professional responsibility for change in problem clinical situations.

The levels are listed in increasing order of complexity, followed by verbs that represent each level.

Knowledge: remembering previously learned facts.

Cite                             List                              Reproduce

Define                                     Match                          Select

Identify                       Name                           State

Label                           Recognize

Comprehension: ability to understand or grasp the meaning of material.

Convert                       Extend                        Paraphrase

Describe                      Give examples             Summarize

Estimate                      Illustrate                      Translate

Explain                        Interpret

Application: ability to use previously learned material in new and concrete situations.

Apply                          Modify                                    Relate

Computer                    Operate                       Show

Construct                    Predict                         Solve

Demonstrate                Prepare                        Use

Discover                      Produce

Analysis: ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood.

Analyze                       Differentiate               Infer

Associate                     Discriminate                Outline

Determine                   Distinguish                  Point out

Synthesis: ability to put parts together to form a new whole.

Combine                      Develop                       Plan

Rewrite                       Compile                       Devise

Propose                       Tell                              Compose

Integrate                      Rearrange                    Write

Create                          Modify                                    Reorganize

Design                         Organize                      Revise

Evaluation: ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose; also, the ability to make decisions.

Appraise                      Conclude                     Judge

Assess                         Contrast                      Weigh

Compare                      Evaluate




  1. Knowledge
  2. The student will be able to list all of Piaget’s developmental states in the correct order for an in-class exam.
  3. The student will recall the four major food groups without error.
  4. From memory, with 80 percent accuracy the student will match each United States General with his most famous battle.
  5. Comprehension
  6. The student will be able to correctly describe the two components of objectivity f or an in-class exam.
  7. By the end of the semester, the student will summarize the main events of a story in grammatically correct English.
  8. Application
  9. Given fractions not previously covered in class, the student will be able to divide them with 85 percent accuracy for an in-class exam.
  10. Given fractions not covered in class, the student will multiply them on paper with 85 percent accuracy.
  11. Analysis

Given a presidential speech, the student will be able to point out all of the positions that attack a political opponent rather than the opponent’s political program for a homework assignment.

  1. In a presidential speech, the student will be able to point out the positions that attack a political opponent personally rather than the opponent’s political programs.
  2. The student will describe the interrelationships among acts in a play.
  3. Synthesis
  4. The student will be able to design a study outside of class that addresses a given problem. The experiment should contain the six components given in class.
  5. Given a short story, the student will write a different but plausible ending.
  6. Evaluation
  7. The student will be able to judge a paragraph’s value according to the six criteria for an out-of-class assignment.
  8. Given a description of a country’s economic system, the student will defend it by basing arguments on principles of socialism.

Question No. 5:What are the different factors that influence student motivation?

Most of the factors evaluated in this study are easy to adopt or abandon. Although the curriculum in the pre-clinical years is concerned with basic sciences, most students thought that the introduction of some clinical information into lectures would improve motivation and facilitate learning. The students thought that motivation could be improved with the provision of clinical information to make the basic science subjects more realistic and consequently facilitate learning.

Many faculty members use the conventional style of lecturing where students are passive recipients. However, these students clearly favored student participation. They believed that there was little enjoyment in the majority of lectures, partly because of the lack of student participation. Indeed, many investigators have reported that there is greater enthusiasm for learning on the part of students when the focus in the classroom is changed from teacher-centered to student-centered There are many techniques of changing the traditional lecture into a more enjoyable interactive lecture with greater student participation.

The majority of students considered the revision of a previous lecture a promoter of learning. This is done to refresh students’ memory and stress basic principles as well as forge a link to subsequent information, thereby facilitating comprehension. This is, unfortunately, lacking in many of our lectures, but can be done by asking questions to create an active learning environment which compels and encourages students to read previous lectures.

A lot of our students have problems with the language as the teaching is in a foreign language.7 This might explain why most of the students preferred the use of some Arabic phrases in lectures. Interestingly, the frequency of females who favored the use of Arabic phrases was less than males. However, the use of Arabic phrases should clearly be limited to situations in which the tutor feels that the students are unable to comprehend what is being taught.

Out of the three different audiovisuals usually used in teaching, the students preferred the chalkboard. Using the chalkboard gave the students a good opportunity to write lecture notes. Since the use of slides and overhead projectors tended to be fast, the deficiency in English made it difficult for the students to take proper notes when they were used. When these are used, students have little time to take notes, continue to listen and keep pace with the information being delivered in the lecture.

Clear course objectives were not provided to the students by many of our departments. Clear objectives that help to identify the course material and guide learning were considered by the majority of students as motivation promoter. Curriculum committees should ensure that every course has specific objectives, which are made accessible to students. In addition to facilitating learning the availability of specific objectives would make students aware of the scope of the course. The objectives would also act as guidelines for tutors to cover the required material and avoid unnecessary detail.

Assigning more than one reference text by the departments was seen as motivation inhibitor by majority of second and third level students. Possible causes of this include the lack of time. As students take four different lectures per day, the deficiencies in their language makes reading a very time-consuming activity.

Our students preferred easy references and most of them depended mainly on notes.The university policy prohibits the provision of lecture notes and handouts to the students. The college administration believes that in addition to being good for self-learning, reading textbooks is an important means of improving one’s language. Although students who regularly read improved their language, many complained that they wasted a lot of time and got fewer marks than those who only read notes. However, later in the clinical years many of them came to appreciate the worth of the habit of regular reading.

Although tutors agree that teaching should be concentrated on core material, many have the tendency to go into unnecessary detail. This could explain the feeling of our students that our curriculum is overloaded. Selection of basic science material based on clinical relevance would help not only in identifying the core curriculum but also in avoiding unnecessary detail that overloads the curriculum.

Tutorials in our curriculum are designed to offer the tutor the opportunity to revise the material covered in previous lectures with the students. Different methods are used to achieve this objective. Our students considered all forms of tutorials (distribution of written questions, posing questions in tutorial and revision of topics by tutor) as promoters. However, they thought they derived the greatest benefit from the tutorials when lecture material was reviewed.

It is obvious from our results that scheduled quizzes are perceived as strong promoters of learning. This is in agreement with a previous report that stated that assessment had a marked effect on medical students’ learning.9 On the other hand, a majority of our students did not like unscheduled quizzes as many of them had not developed the habit of studying regularly. They rather read intensively for examinations, a habit acquired from their pre-university days.

As an administrative policy, taking attendance is a debatable issue. Our students were positive about taking the roll. Interestingly, there was a gender difference in the perception of the importance of attendance. As expected, the sympathetic response to the needs of students by departments and the administration was considered a strong promoter.

It is suggested that the teaching approach in the pre-clinical years should foster horizontal integration and increase the number of tutorials based on clinical problems in order to facilitate vertical integration.


Our students think that the tutor in the pre-clinical phase, could motivate them more if he/she: provided clinical information, encouraged students participation, revised previous lectures, used the necessary explanatory Arabic phrases, used the chalk board, provided clear specific course objectives, adopted one easy reference, concentrated on the core curriculum and avoided lecturing in the afternoon.

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