The usefulness of crossword puzzle as a self-learning tool in pharmacology



Introduction: Pharmacology is perceived as a volatile subject as
it’s difficult to recall and recite the core of the subject. Enriching
the learning environment through incorporation of a variety of
teaching and learning strategies and methods yields enhanced
learning. Crossword puzzles provide expansion of vocabulary,
stimulate thinking capacity, boost confidence, and fasten up the
learning capacity; hence, the present study was conducted to
investigate the usefulness of crossword puzzle as an innovative
self-learning tool in pharmacology.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted among 5th
semester students of the second professional MBBS course. A total
of 139 students participated in this study and were evaluated with
formative examination and feedback questionnaire. Permission
was taken from Institutional Ethics Committee for the study.
A crossword puzzle consisting of 32 questions on endocrine
pharmacology was prepared and divided into two sections: the
across section had 17 questions and the down section contained
15 questions. The data were analyzed, using Graph Pad Software
and presented as percentage of the responses.
Results: On average, out of 32 questions, one mark each, the
students scored 52.69% and all students responded correctly on
questions on the topic of hormonal contraceptives. 75.5% of the
students had an enjoyable experience and the majority of them
agreed that it helped them enhance their knowledge of drugs,
remember diseases and drug names, and overall learning about the
topic. They were also of the opinion that this should be inculcated
in pharmacology curriculum.
Conclusion: Incorporation of crossword puzzles, as an adjunct
tool, was useful as majority of the students reported that this
improved their attitude of learning, thereby improving their

Keywords: Endocrine system, Pharmacology, Self-learning, Lectures, Feedback

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