Minicases as an adjunct to lectures in the teaching of pharmacology. The students' point of view in a pilot experience

Magí Farré, Josep Eladi Baños

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: We report here a preliminary study using mini-cases or very short problems in conjunction with traditional lectures for teaching medical students. Material and Methods: We used nine mini-cases in our lectures on pharmacology. Mini-cases consist of a five-line text with two questions on the subject of the lecture. They were delivered just before the lecture, and students were given five minutes to answer the questions at the end. Teachers evaluated their correctness and were able to award up to 1 extra point to the overall mark in the regular exam. At the end of term the experience was evaluated by asking students to answer ten questions anonymously. Results: Forty-three (out of 69) answered the questionnaire. They handed in a mean of 7.6 mini-cases and gave a mean score of 7.5 for their usefulness in understanding the subject better, 5.9 for the degree of difficulty and 7.3 for their interest. When asked about their reasons for taking part, they scored 8.5 for the possibility of obtaining an extra mark, 7.5 for the idea that they would understand the subjects better and 6.8 for the challenge of solving the problem. Around 67% reported that mini-cases increased attendance at lectures and 95% said they would participate even if extra marks were not available. All participants reported that they would participate in similar experiences in the future. Conclusion: We conclude that mini-cases may be a cost-effective method for improving students' attendance at lectures, as well as their understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-137
JournalEducacion Medica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Lectures
  • Mini-cases
  • Pharmacology
  • Teaching of medicine


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