Podcasts and videos and slides…oh my!: Traditional vs. nontraditional teaching methods in remote settings

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Curr Pharm Teach Learn


INTRODUCTION: Nontraditional teaching methods are student-centered and motivate students to participate in class activities. Some studies have shown benefit in using various teaching activities; however, data are limited regarding students' perspective and performance after implementation of nontraditional learning strategies. The study compared student preference and performance assessment with traditional and nontraditional presentation methods.

METHODS: This study included first-year pharmacy students enrolled in a course at a research-intensive, public university. Students in 2020 received traditional lectures while students in 2021 were presented three topics as nontraditional activities, including a podcast, an escape room, a video inspired by Khan Academy, and a traditional asynchronous lecture using slides with voice-over. First-year pharmacy students were surveyed in 2021 regarding their perspective on the nontraditional presentations. Students' performance was compared between 2020 and 2021.

RESULTS: Ninety-eight students in 2020 and 89 students in 2021 were enrolled in the course. Sixty-seven students completed the 2021 survey. Most students (71.6%) preferred the traditional lecture; the Khan Academy and escape room activities were the least favored. Most students (86.5%) responded they learned "quite a bit" or a "tremendous amount" with the traditional lecture, and 59.7% of students felt they would perform better on assessments with the traditional lecture compared to nontraditional. Students in 2021 only performed better on all exam questions related to the nontraditional podcast activity.

CONCLUSIONS: Students preferred traditional lectures and also seemed to perform better on assessment, with the exception of the nontraditional presentation podcast style. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Educational Measurement; Learning; Curriculum; Surveys and Questionnaires; Students, Pharmacy

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print





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