A comparative evaluation of teaching methods in an introductory neuroscience course for physical therapy students.

Gilbert M. Willett, J. Graham Sharp, Lynette M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The use of computer-based instruction (CBI) in physical therapy education is growing, but its effectiveness compared to lecture is undefined. This study compared CBI to lecture in an introductory neuroscience course for students in their first year of a 3 year professional program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. SUBJECTS: Twenty-eight students participated in 2003 and 34 in 2004. METHODS: A randomized, cross-over design was employed. The course was divided into two sections with an exam after each. Students in one group participated in CBI during the first half of the course and lecture during the second half with the order of participation reversed for the other group. A 6 months post-course review exam was also administered. Exam scores, study time, and student opinions regarding teaching methods were collected after each half of the course. Course development costs for both teaching approaches were also documented. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in exam scores between participant groups. CBI students spent less time studying. Student did not distinguish a major preference for either instruction method. Many students preferred that CBI be used as a complementary rather than mutually exclusive instructional method. Lecture-based instruction was much less expensive than CBI. CONCLUSION: Lecture-based instruction was more cost effective than CBI, but CBI was more time efficient in terms of student learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e177-198
JournalJournal of allied health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative evaluation of teaching methods in an introductory neuroscience course for physical therapy students.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this