Introduction: Instruction in teacher-centered formats may lead to early learning fatigue, which in turn, decelerates students’knowledge retrieval. Presently, teachers try to increase students’
participation and their active attention to course content by incorporating effective, applicable, low-cost, and enjoyable teaching apparatuses.
Methods: The participants of this quasi-experimental study were the students of speech therapy in 4th semester (n=83) at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences. They were simplerandomly divided into two groups of experimental (who received the crossword puzzle accompanied by lecture or the hybrid method as Group A) and control (who received the traditional
method as Group B). The students’ knowledge level and students’satisfaction with their received instruction methods were assessed as outcome measures throughout the experiment for both groups. The test score of students’ initial knowledge of the concepts in Speech Therapy, the score from the semester final exam of the courses in forms of multiple choice questions, and the retained
learning score were calculated as the pre-test, post-test and a follow-up measurement, respectively. Independent-samples T-test for comparative analyses of students’ satisfaction between the pretest
and post-test, and multivariate repeated measures ANOVA test were used to analyze the students’ knowledge level at three time-points (before, immediately after, and one month after the
trainings). The data were analyzed using SPSS ver. 18.0 software, and at the level of statistical significance of P≤0.05.
Results: Both educational methods significantly improved the students’ knowledge level after the trainings (P=0.030); however, the mean score of knowledge and learning of Group A (mean=17.14) were significantly higher than that of Group B (mean=16.02) immediately after (P=0.036) and one month after the trainings (mean=18.26 vs. 16.10) (P=0.001). The mean score of students’ satisfaction in Group A was also significantly higher than that in Group B (P=0.010).
Conclusion: Utilizing the crossword puzzle as an enjoyable and participatory teaching tool accompanied by lecture could improve management quality in Speech Therapy sessions.