Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology IAMM  | About us |  Subscription |  e-Alerts  | Feedback |  Login   
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 Home | Ahead of Print | Current Issue | Archives | Search | Instructions  
Users Online: 702 Official Publication of Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists 
 ~  Similar in PUBMED
 ~  Search Pubmed for
 ~  Search in Google Scholar for
 ~Related articles
 ~  Article in PDF (448 KB)
 ~  Citation Manager
 ~  Access Statistics
 ~  Reader Comments
 ~  Email Alert *
 ~  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 ~  Abstract
 ~ Introduction
 ~ Material and Methods
 ~ Results
 ~ Discussion
 ~ Conclusion
 ~  References
 ~  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded32    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


  Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 448-450

E-tutorials to accentuate – Clinical microbiology learning

Department of Microbiology, J N Medical College, KAHER University, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission11-Mar-2020
Date of Decision28-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance18-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication4-Nov-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sheetal U Harakuni
[email protected] of Microbiology, J N Medical College, KAHER University, Belagavi - 590 010, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_20_100

Rights and Permissions

 ~ Abstract 

Competency-based medical education has challenged the educators to adopt new teaching modalities to instil self-directed learning among children. E-learning in the form of blended learning is studied to facilitate clinical microbiology learning. A class of 200 students was introduced to the process of Google Classroom. Two topics were discussed in online classrooms. The students attempted online tests on the topics, that were later discussed in small groups in offline class. Students found that analytical/interpretive questions accentuated learning. E-tutorials facilitate students' preparedness for small-group discussion.

Keywords: Blended learning, clinical microbiology, E-tutorials

How to cite this article:
Harakuni SU. E-tutorials to accentuate – Clinical microbiology learning. Indian J Med Microbiol 2020;38:448-50

How to cite this URL:
Harakuni SU. E-tutorials to accentuate – Clinical microbiology learning. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 17];38:448-50. Available from:

 ~ Introduction Top

The competency-based undergraduate curriculum is implemented by the Medical Council of India. The curriculum has new components such as self-directed learning sessions, small-group teaching and fewer lectures (not more than 30%). The duration of diagnostics subjects' learning has been reduced to 1 year. Microbiology teaching is system based, to be taught in clinical relevance.[1]

In self-directed learning sessions, the onus of learning is on students' shoulders, with teachers acting as facilitators. Teachers, in their role as facilitators, venture into newer modalities of facilitating learning.[2] E-learning, in the form of blended learning, supports the various teaching modalities.[3],[4] Here, we present the ease and feasibility of the E-learning platform as a discussion forum for students and teachers. The objective of the intervention was to accentuate the learning of clinically relevant microbiology.

 ~ Material and Methods Top

The ethical clearance was taken from the institutional review board. A class of 200 medical students was introduced to the process of E-learning through Google Classroom. The E-mail addresses of all the students were collected. Two Google Classrooms were started by the author, having 100 students each. Each Google Classroom can accommodate 100 students only.

Reading materials related to the system approach were shared through Google Classroom. The preparation materials shared were the PowerPoint presentations, scientific published articles relevant to the topic to be discussed in Google Classroom.

The management of a case of sore throat and a case of pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO), was discussed in the Google Classroom, over a period of 1 week. The interpretive/analytical multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and short answers related to the topic were prepared using Google Form, by the facilitator. The quiz was designed for 15 marks' aggregate, with a deadline of 2 days to attempt the quiz. The students were allowed to use reading material while attempting the quiz. Two quizzes were released at an interval of 15 days. After each quiz, individualised feedback was provided through E-mail, over the next 2 days. The scores were tabulated using the Google SpreadSheet linked to the quiz format.

The quiz questions were later discussed in the offline classroom, to further clarify the doubts related to the topic.

Feedback from the students, on the process of these E-tutorials, was collected through a validated questionnaire using Google Form.

 ~ Results Top

Out of 200 students, 181 (90.5%) students were enrolled in the classroom. Thirteen students' E-mail addresses were not correct. Six students withdrew from the Google Classroom.

Thirty-six (20%) students attempted the quiz on the management of a case of a sore throat (Unit 1). The scores ranged from 3 to 14 points. The average score was 8.55/15. The median score was 8.

Fifty-five (30%) students attempted quiz on the management of a case of PUO (Unit 2), which was released after 15 days of the first quiz. The scores in the second quiz ranged from 0 to 12 points. The average score was 5.21/15 points, and the median was 4. The students could answer the recall type of MCQ. Few could answer the interpretative questions.

Sixty-three (35%) students gave feedback on the process of E-tutorials. They opined, the tutorials made them read more about the topic (67.7%) and helped better understanding the topic (54.8%). The other responses were encouraging for the conduct of E-tutorials, as shown in [Figure 1]. Students also opined that they were not ready for this type of learning. All of them agreed to attend such tutorials in the future. The major factor that encourages them to attempt E-tutorials is a case-based topic. Case-based, exam-oriented questions make students participate in the E-learning. Individualised feedback on the responses helps them to learn.
Figure 1: Students' feedback on their perception of E-tutorials

Click here to view

 ~ Discussion Top

E-learning modules have been found to complement the teacher-led instructional methods.[5] Competency-based medical education curriculum incorporates more of small-group teaching. The effectiveness of small-group teaching lies in the preparedness of the students. This compelled us to take up E-tutorials to teach students clinical microbiology, as a part of the blended teaching session.[6] The main objective of the study was to allow students to relearn the concepts of microbiology at their own pace and feasibility, in a clinical context. The students' online open-book test scores denote difficulty in the understanding of the clinical applicability of microbiology knowledge. The hindrance has been taken care of by teacher-led face-to-face discussion on the questions that were attempted by the students in E-tutorials.

More number of students attempted Unit 2 than Unit 1. This observation is in contrast to some other studies stating drop out in E-learning modules.[7] The main cause for fewer students for Unit 1, as stated by students themselves in the feedback was the test was made accessible only for 48 h after release. The students were more vigilant and a larger number of students attempted the Unit 2 test within a stipulated time of 48 h. Google Classroom gives scope for addressing the students individually on their performance. It also supports online discussion in a stream within the classroom.

In the analysis of students' perception, it was found that students were less prepared to attempt such modules and opined that the questions would have been as asked in the summative exam pattern. Case-based reading increases intrinsic motivation and leads to better understanding.[8] The perceptions highlighted the advantages of E-learning platforms such as leisure reading, provision to read on an individualised pace.[4],[9]

Focus group discussion with the students who did not attempt the E-tutorials would highlight the deficiencies of E-tutorial. As the test scores were not intended to be included in the internal assessment marks, the response rate was less. However, those students who attempted the E-tutorials were satisfied and opined that the tutorials increased their knowledge of the clinical application.

 ~ Conclusion Top

Case-based E-tutorials are beneficial in teaching the relevance and application of microbiology in a clinical setting, in a blended learning curriculum. E-tutorials instil self-directed learning in students and prepare them for small-group discussions.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 ~ References Top

Medical Council of India. Competency-based Undergraduate Curriculum. Medical Council of India; 2019. Available from: [Last acessed on 2020 Mar 07].  Back to cited text no. 1
Tjakradidjaja FA, Prabandari YS, Prihatiningsih TS, Harsono TS. The role of teacher in medical student self-directed learning process. J Educ Learn 2016;10:78-84.  Back to cited text no. 2
Watson J. Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-face Education. Vienna, VA: North American Council for Online Learning; 2008. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].  Back to cited text no. 3
Dhir SK, Verma D, Batta M, Mishra D. E-learning in medical education in India. Indian Pediatr 2017;54:871-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ruiz JG, Mintzer MJ, Leipzig RM. The impact of E-learning in medical education. Acad Med 2006;81:207-12.  Back to cited text no. 5
Morton CE, Saleh SN, Smith SF, Hemani A, Ameen A, Bennie TD, et al. Blended learning: How can we optimise undergraduate student engagement? BMC Med Educ 2016;16:195.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gaikwad N, Tankhiwale S. Interactive E-learning module in pharmacology: A pilot project at a rural medical college in India. Perspect Med Educ 2014;3:15-30.  Back to cited text no. 7
Deci EL, Vallerand RJ, Pelletier LG, Ryan RM. Motivation and education: The self- determination perspective. Educ Psychol 1991;26:325-46.  Back to cited text no. 8
Brockman RM, Taylor JM, Segars LW, Selke V, Taylor, TA. Students' perceptions of online and in-person microbiology laboratory experiences in undergraduate medical education. Med Educ online 2020; 25:1710324.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1]


Print this article  Email this article


2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04