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In compliance with the Medical Council of India, preclinical medical students maintain a record of their laboratory work in physiology. The physiology record books also contain a set of questions to be answered by the students. Faculty members and students had indicated that responding to these questions did not serve the intended purpose of being an effective learning tool. The purpose of this study was to obtain the views of the medical students and faculty members at our institution concerning the usefulness of responding to the questions and to gather suggestions for possible improvement. Data were collected through focus groups and questionnaires to first-year medical students and faculty members in physiology and were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. The students and faculty members viewed the physiology record books as a potentially useful learning aid, but lack of time led the students to write the answers without understanding the topic rather than generating their own responses to the questions. Faculty members and students recommended that the students should write the responses to the questions on site during the practical classes, using relevant on-site resources and interacting with faculty members. The findings of the present study may be of value to other medical colleges in India and outside India with modifications based on their specific needs to improve the effectiveness of physiology record books as a learning tool.
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