|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 104-111
Effectiveness of mobile app as a teaching and learning tool
Gaurav R Sawarkar1, Priti R Desai1, Punam G Sawarkar2
1 Department of Rachana Sharir, Mahatma Gandhi Ayuved College, Hospital & Research Centre, DMIMS(DU), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Panchakarma, Mahatma Gandhi Ayuved College, Hospital & Research Centre, DMIMS(DU), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||21-Nov-2019|
Dr. Gaurav R Sawarkar
Department of Rachana Sharir, Mahatma Gandhi Ayuved College, Hospital & Research Centre, DMIMS(DU), Salod (H), Wardha 442001, Maharashtra.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: The field of mobile technology in health sciences is somewhat newer concept and provides more openings to future researchers for conduction of more studies. Mobile devices with various applications offer noteworthy facilities with its transportability and accessibility. Rachana Sharir (anatomy) is itself one of the volatile subjects in which various concepts such as Marma Sharir are difficult to understand and memorize. Therefore, to make the topic interesting and easy to comprehend, there is need to make changes in teaching and learning methodology by using Marma Mobile App. Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of Mobile App as a teaching and learning tool and perception toward Mobile App, and to compare the efficacy and retention of knowledge in Mobile App and conventional teaching. Materials and Methods: First-year BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery) students were involved in the study. Two modules were prepared on Marma Sharir. Accordingly, pretest and posttest were prepared and conducted before and after teaching the module, respectively. Feedback was noted after crossover study. Observation and Results: The score of posttests was highly significant in Mobile App method as compared with conventional teaching. Students were truly agreeing with Mobile App method and admitted that Marma App developed more interest in the topic and reduced the study duration with increased recall skill. Conclusion: Students remarked that the App was helpful to develop interest in the topic and reduced study duration required for the topic. It created good visual impact and helped in quick recall with retention of knowledge as compared with the conventional teaching. Students suggested for addition of animations and videos in the present App.
Keywords: Conventional teaching, Marma, Mobile App, Rachana Sharir
|How to cite this article:|
Sawarkar GR, Desai PR, Sawarkar PG. Effectiveness of mobile app as a teaching and learning tool. J Indian Sys Medicine 2019;7:104-11
| Background|| |
Ayurveda is on the path of generation of collateral evidence to validate Samhita principles. Ayurved educational research is one of the means to support the system with scientific way. There are many educational researches done and going on in the field of Ayurveda on various topics such as OSLER, Quiz, Early Clinical Exposure, modular teaching, Near Peer Assisted Mentoring of the students, and community-based learning to develop education excellence in learning.
Learning involves complex mental activities such as critical thinking and problems-solving capacity. The purpose of learning methodology personnel is to provide the best learning tools available for the learner, so that they learn detailed in-depth knowledge and applicable skills for their career.
In the domain of education, technology is not latest revolution, but era is shifting toward a variety of educational motivations.
The smartphone is a new technology that endorses portable communication and operational ability in a one device, which facilitates mobile services at the point of medical education and health care. There is a quite improvement in communication among medical profession because of the use of smartphones with various software applications.,
In today’s era, students are more techno savvy and are ready to search and learn most of the things through net. Thus, the future of medical education might be depending upon technological inventions as well as the competence of budding practitioners, medical teachers and students to familiarize newer technologies.
Currently, various applications are available, which serve interactive guidelines to teach and learn modern anatomy. However, such types of applications do not exist in the present scenario of Ayurveda in the subject of Rachana Sharir. There is a need to develop some innovative ideas for learning of complex arena in the curriculum.
Rachana Sharir is itself one of the volatile subjects in which various concepts are difficult to understand and memorize. Therefore, to make the subject interesting and easy to comprehend, there is need to make changes in teaching and learning methodology.
Marma Sharir is one of the significant and unique areas of the subject Rachana Sharir. Marma are the important vital points in the body, which have not only theoretical importance, but also clinical significance in view of Marma Chikitsa, Agnikarma, and Vighdhakarma. This topic is more complex to learn and difficult to recall at the time of examination. Hence, contributing to the goal of study means to make this topic more students friendly and easy to understand; we thought of designing a Marma App in order to teach students how to identify the referred regions of Marma and to learn information regarding the same. Only the expectation that this technological initiative in the form of Marma App was beneficial for Ayurveda students by minimizing the complexities of the topic where in the technology and gadget inclination of today’s learners can be used for the noble cause of learning. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of Mobile App as a teaching and learning tool as compared with conventional teaching.
| Material and Methods|| |
Ethics Committee Approval
This study was conducted after obtaining approval from institutional ethics committee (Protocol no. DMIMS(DU)/IEC/2017–18/6273, dated 27.03.2017).
This was an interventional study.
The study was conducted for academic year 2017–18.
The study population was undergraduate first-year BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery) Ayurved students. Purposive sampling was used for the recruitment of research participants. A total of 60 students were taken for the study. All the students were divided in two groups: Group A and Group B. Each group comprised 30 students who were rapid and potential learners and were selected based on their performance in the first-term examination to avoid the bias.
| Study Material|| |
Selection of the Topic
Two topics were selected from Marma Sharir: Module 1––Shakhagat Marma (Marma at extremities) and Module 2––Madhya Sharirg at Marma (Marma at thorax, abdomen, and back region).
Preparation of Marma App
A Mobile App [Figure 1] and [Figure 2] on Marma Sharir was designed with the help of technical expert at the Department of Information and Technology, Datta Meghe Institute of Engineering, Technology & Research (DMITER), Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India.,
Questionnaire to Evaluate Student’s Perception for Marma App
Questionnaire on 5-point Likert scale was prepared and validated to evaluate students’ perception for Marma App as a teaching and learning tool in the subject of Rachana Sharir. In total, 13 items were prepared to record students’ feedback for Marma App. It was prevalidated and after validation it was administered to all the participants to obtain their opinions immediately after the intervention.
A 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree to 5 = strongly disagree) was used to record responses for items 1–10. Item nos. 11, 12, and 13 were open-ended questions.
Pretest and Posttest
Pretest and posttest were prepared on both the modules viz. Shakhagat Marma (Marma at extremities) and Madhya Sharirg at Marma (Marma at thorax, abdomen, and back region) (Annexure E).
Pretest for Module 1: Shakhagat Marma and Module 2: Madhya Sharirg at Marma were given to all the participants before commencement of the topics.
Posttest was administered at the end of the activity on the last day.
| Informed Consent|| |
All the participants were informed about the study and informed consent of all the students was obtained before their participation in the study.
| Methodology|| |
Students were first sensitized for Marma App by technical expert at DMITER. The objectives of the study were explained to them and consent was obtained before starting the activity.
A total of 60 students were divided into two groups: Group A and Group B by purposive sampling; each group comprised high and low achievers, who were selected based on their performance in the first-term examination to avoid the bias.
Before intervention, pretest was taken for both the subtypes. Thereafter, the subtopic Shakhagat Marma (Marma at extremities) was taught to Group A by Mobile App method, which included introductory lecture followed by Marma App learning on the same topic, whereas Group B was taught through traditional didactic lecture.
Thereafter, the groups were crossed over; second subtopic of Madhya Sharirgat Marma (Marma at thorax, abdomen, and back region) was taught to Group B by Mobile App method, which included introductory lecture followed by Marma App learning on the same topic, whereas Group A was taught through traditional didactic lecture.
After the whole activity, the students of both the groups were given posttest on both the subtopics of Shakhagat Marma and Madhya Sharirgat Marma.
To assess the retention of knowledge, second posttest was given to both the groups after the duration of one month.
Students’ perception on the Marma Mobile App was obtained from all the participants using feedback questionnaire as all of them had been exposed to Marma Mobile App.
| Data Analysis and Statistics|| |
To study the effectiveness, pretest and posttest scores were compared for learning gain. Student’s paired t-test was used to compare pretest and posttest scores in the study group. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Furthermore, both the pretest and posttest scores of both the control and intervention groups were compared for both the subtopics, using Student’s unpaired t-test. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The students perception was assessed by analyzing the feedback. Responses to close-ended and open-ended questions were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, respectively.
| Results|| |
A total of 60 students were involved in the study and participated in all the activities of the study. Hence, the response rate was 100%. All the research participants (students) gave their consent for the study.
The students were divided into two groups. Each group comprised 30 students selected by purposive sampling.
For subtopic 1. Shakhagat (extremities) Marma: Group A served as an intervention group taught with Mobile App, whereas Group B was a control group taught with conventional method.
Thereafter, groups were crossed over.
For subtopic 2. Madhya Sharirgat (trunk) Marma: Group B served as an intervention group taught with Mobile App, whereas Group A was a control group taught with conventional method.
| Pretest and Posttest Analysis|| |
The response rate was calculated for both pretest and posttest. It was 100% as all the 60 students appeared for the pretest and posttest.
The pretest and posttest were conducted for both the control and intervention groups in both the subtopics (Subtopic 1––Shakhagat Marma and Subtopic 2––Madhya Sharirgat Marma)
Subtopic 1: Shakhagat Marma
For subtopic 1 (interventional group). The mean score of pretests was 0.56 + 0.56 and posttest 1 was 8.50 + 0.86 [Table 1]. On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at pretest and posttest-1 (t = 39.07). The value of P = 0.0001was considered statistically significant.
|Table 1: Comparison of pretest and posttest scores within the groups (Student’s paired t-test)|
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For subtopic-1 (control group). The mean score of pretests was 0.53 + 0.57 and at posttest-1 was 7.00 + 1.41. On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at pretest and posttest-1 (t = 24.73). The value of P = 0.0001 was considered statistically significant.
On using unpaired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at pretest and posttest-1 (t = 4.96 and P = 0.0001) [Table 2].
|Table 2: Comparison of pretest and posttest scores of both groups (Student’s unpaired t-test)|
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Subtopic 2: Madhya Sharirgat Marma
For subtopic-2 (control group). The mean score of pretests was 0.66 + 0.71 and posttest-1 was 6.63 + 1.44 [Table 3]. On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at pretest and posttest-1 (t = 19.55). The value of P = 0.0001 was considered statistically significant.
|Table 3: Comparison of pretest and posttest scores within the groups (Student’s paired t-test)|
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For subtopic-2 (interventional group). The mean score of pretests was 0.63 + 0.61 and posttest-1 was 8.03 + 0.9. On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at pretest and posttest-1 (t = 34). The value of P = 0.0001 was considered statistically significant.
On using unpaired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at posttest-1 (t = 4.45). However, the value of P = 0.0001 for pretest was non-significant [Table 4].
|Table 4: Comparison of pretest and posttest scores of both groups (Student’s unpaired t-test)|
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Posttest-1 and Posttest-2 Analysis for Retention of Knowledge
Posttest-2 was conducted after duration of one month to test the retention of knowledge.
Subtopic-1 (interventional group and control group). On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at posttest-1 and posttest-2 (t = 10.47, 9.76 and P = 0.0001) [Table 5].
|Table 5: Comparison between posttest-1 and posttest-2 (Student’s paired t-test)|
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Subtopic-2 (interventional group and control group). On using paired t-test, a statistically significant difference was found in the mean marks at posttest-1 and posttest-2 (t = 7.11, 7.30 and P = 0.0001) [Table 6].
|Table 6: Comparison between posttest-1 and posttest-2 (Student’s paired t-test)|
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Students Feedback on Marma Mobile App in Rachana Sharir
The response rate for the feedback taken at the end of the completion of topic was 100%, meaning that all students in the study responded to the feedback.
Analysis of the close-ended questions
[Table 7] shows the score given by the participants for each item. This table included close-ended questions represented using Likert’s scale.
In total, 85% students (61.67% = strongly agreed [SA] and 23.33% = agreed [A]) believed that Marma App was helpful in developing interest in the topic of Marma Sharir.
In total, 81.67% students (55% = SA and 26.67% = A) believed the Mobile App helped in enhancing knowledge about the topic of Marma Sharir.
In total, 88.33% students (60% = SA and 28.33% = A) believed that this teaching Mobile App will be helpful in their clinical years of learning for Marma Chikitsa and the same number of students (63.33% = SA and 25% = A) believed that Mobile App was a very effective method for learning Marma Sharir.
In total, 80% students (58.33% = SA and 21.67% =A) believed that this method should be included in teaching other systems of preclinical sciences and the same number of students (53.33% = SA and 26.67% = A) believed that this Mobile App was effective in increasing recall skills.
In total, 86.67% students (56.67% = SA and 30% =A) believed that Marma App developed more interest and motivated in learning basic sciences.
Analysis of the open-ended questions
The students opined that it gives good explanation and more knowledge about the topic. It also helps to learn and understand Marma concept properly. Marma App increased recall skill. It motivated in learning basic sciences. Marma App developed the interest in the topic and reduced the study time. It creates good visual impact and helps in fast recall. It did not support to iPhones and iOS mobiles. It can distract from writing practice. Mobile App can be improved with Sanskrit terminologies. Videos or animated content can be added [Table 8].
| Discussion|| |
Marma Mobile App provides an opportunity for students to study Marma Sharir with the help of designed program. There is need to identify and keep in space with developments in technology to support workplace learning, which a key challenge is for medical students.
The innovation in the form of Mobile teaching App was successfully pilot tested in the subject of Rachana Sharir. Two subtopics, Shakhagat Marma and Madhya Sharirgat Marma, were selected under the theme Marma Sharir. Subtopic-1, that is, Shakhagat Marma, was taught in the form of traditional didactic lecture to the control group and by introductory lecture with reinforcement of Marma Mobile App to the intervention group. For subtopic-2, Madhya Sharirgat Marma, groups were crossed over and the instructional methods were interchanged.
This study was carried out with the objectives to assess the perceptions of Ayurved students about Mobile App as a teaching and learning tool along with its effectiveness. We also desired to introduce Mobile App to assess its practicability and acceptability to examine whether the learning was enhanced by the intervention of Mobile App.
The pretest and posttest were conducted to determine the knowledge gain for both the control and intervention groups for both the subtopics. There was a significant difference in the posttest scores of the intervention group (Marma Mobile App) as compared with the posttest scores of the control group (traditional didactic lecture) in both the subtopics.
Effect of Intervention on the Performance
The pretest score for both groups for both subtopics was found to be nonsignificant [Tables 2] and . This suggests that the preexisting knowledge of the groups were same before commencement of the topic.
Posttest-1 was conducted immediately after the completion of the topics. In both the subtopics, posttest-1 score was found to be statistically significant [Tables 2] and . This indicates that both the methods (App and Didactic) were effective. However, the mean score was high in intervention groups as compared with that of control groups [Tables 1] and . Hence, this suggests that the intervention in the form of Mobile App was highly effective as compared with conventional teaching; this finding is consistent with the previous study by Vogel, which states that students who were motivated to use the mobile applications achieved higher marks in the mid-term exam, final exam grade as compared with those who not chose personal digital assistant.
Effect of Intervention on the Retention of Knowledge
The posttest-2 was conducted after one month to test the retention of knowledge. In both the subtopics, the posttest-2 score for retention of knowledge was found to be statistically significant.
Retention of knowledge of subtopic-1 was high (t = 10.478, 9.768) as compared with subtopic-2 (t = 7.303, 7.115). This may be because of the difference in the number of Marma points for study (subtopic-1 contains 11 Marma points and 26 Marma points in subtopic-2). Moreover, it was observed that question on Marma points at back region were wrongly answered or remain unsolved. In the informal discussion with the students, they opined that the back region Marma points were quite difficult to memorize as compared with others. This can also be attributed to the fact that students had not undergone the dissection of back region before the intervention. The anatomical structures observed during dissection could have been helpful in memorizing the Marma points.
It can be sum up that intervention of Mobile App increased the student’s reception, engagement which ultimately resulted into the retention of knowledge. This was supported by Siti as mobile learning stimulated learner’s interest and helped them to retain information longer based on significant result obtained in the pretest and posttest. Pechenkina also found a positive correlation in between app performing and achieving higher marks.
Analysis of the Close-ended Questions
On analysis of the close-ended questions, the average rating score for students’ perceptions ranged between strongly agree to agree.
In total, 85% students believed that Marma App was helpful in developing interest in the topic of Marma Sharir. However, 82% students believed that the Mobile App helped in enhancing knowledge about the topic of Marma Sharir. A study by Sánchez-Rola and Zapirain supported the findings that an application has been designed with a basic requirement, which can be easily accessed for the purpose of identification of a specific region.
In total, 88% students believed that this teaching Mobile App will be helpful in their clinical years of learning for Marma Chikitsa and the same number of students thought that Mobile App was very effective method for learning Marma Sharir. Few studies reported the use of smartphones improving clinical skills. Wallace designed semi-structured interviews for medical students, residents, and faculty for the attitudes of the participants about the current and future use of mobile devices in medical field. Outcome of the interview was that the use of mobile devices may enhance clinical environment and increase student knowledge scores.
A total of 80% students thought that this method should be included in teaching other systems of preclinical sciences and the same number of students thought that this Mobile App was effective in increasing recall skills. A study by Hamdan and Ben-Chabane supported the findings that mobile learning can make a significant improvement in student’s skills in the area of organization, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, class attendance, cumulative learning interest, underlining communities contribution, and self-evaluation. The study also recommended that mobile learning should be extended to other programs for the implications on different subjects to reassess the collaborative components of the learning process and to develop student’s capability for their academic skills. A total of 87% students opined that Marma App developed more interest and motivation in learning of basic science because of its visuality and click on information. Similar findings were found in the study by Hamdan Khaed et al., where the researchers stated that the mobile learning application enhanced students’ interest, engagement, and motivation in the learning.
Analysis of the Open-ended Questions
On qualitative analysis of the responses to the open-ended questions, majority of the students seemed to have favorable attitude toward Mobile App teaching method. With respect to the factors enhancing the knowledge of the topic Marma Sharir, the students commented that it given good explanation and more knowledge about the topic. It also helped to learn and understand Marma concept properly and also increased recall skill, which motivated to learning basic science. Similar findings were observed in the study by Harvey. In a study of bilateral hearing loss student, he found that Mobile Apps given innumerable opportunities to students using their sightseeings in order to recall and use cues to better grasp concepts.
Strengths of the Mobile App notified by the students that it developed the interest in the topic and reduced the study duration required for the topic. Moreover, it creates good visual impact and helps in fast recall. According to Sharma, mobile applications play an important role to enhance user engagement and their interest and it maintained the visual impact with features such as images, colors, typography, and content that influences engagement of a user.
In the limitations of the study, Mobile App did not supported to iPhones and iOS mobiles. Zhang and Adipat highlighted several issues regarding critical conditions such as mobile context, connectivity, small screen size, different display resolutions, limited processing capability and power, and data entry methods that have been introduced by the arrival of mobile devices.
Students opined that Marma Mobile App can be improved with Sanskrit terminologies and videos or animated content. This could be implemented by further advancement of the Marma Mobile App. A study by Flora supports our notion that the technological analysis is necessary to better understand the current trends in the mobile application development.
| Conclusion|| |
The intervention of teaching and learning tool in the form of Mobile App was effective and well perceived by the first-year BAMS students. Students found the App to be helpful to develop interest in the topic and reduction in the study duration required for the topic. Moreover, it created good visual impact and helped in fast recall which boosted engagement and motivation in the learning. Mobile App provided a best notion for the teaching and learning of basic sciences which is beneficial for significant gaining and retention of knowledge as compared with the conventional teaching.
The suggestions in the form of addition of animations, videos, and use of Sanskrit language can be taken care of while designing the advanced version of Marma Mobile App. This App had proved to be effective for Ayurved students, which was the first step for technical innovation in the field of Ayurved education.
The research study was conducted on small sample size, to make it more authentic and placed in the public domain, so multicentric trial is recommended for further study.
Limitation of Study
The present Marma Mobile App did not perform on iPhones and iOS-based mobiles
Further Scope of Study
This study will be carried out further by designing advanced version of Marma App. Further multicentric trial will be recommended to place Mobile App in the public domain, which will be useful for Ayurved students.
Financial Support And Sponsorship
Conflicts of Interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8]