Crossword puzzles: self-learning tool in pharmacology

Nitin Gaikwad
Suresh Tankhiwale
Soort article
Original Research
Active learning,
Crossword puzzles,
Recreational learning,
Verscheen in

Students of the second professional MBBS course of the Indian medical curriculum (II MBBS) perceive pharmacology as a ‘Volatile Subject’ because they often find it difficult to remember and recall drug names. We evaluated the usefulness of crossword puzzles as a self-learning tool to help pharmacology students to remember drug names. We also measured the students’ satisfaction with this learning method. This was an open-label randomized, two-arm intervention study, conducted with II MBBS students (n = 70), randomly selected and assigned to two groups A (n = 35) and B (n = 35). Two self-learning modules containing crossword puzzles with antihypertensive and antiepileptic drug terms were prepared and pre-validated. Hard copies of both crossword puzzles were administered to Group A (Intervention group) on two different occasions. One hour was allotted to solve a puzzle. Students were allowed to refer to their textbooks. Group B (Control group) underwent the self-learning module without the crossword puzzles. In both groups, pre- and post-test knowledge was assessed. Students’ perceptions of the crossword puzzles were assessed using a pre-validated 10-item questionnaire. Responses to items 1–8 were recorded using a 5-point Likert scale. Responses to item 9 were recorded on a 10-point rating scale while item 10 was an open–ended question. The crossword completion index was 92.86 %.


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