Objective: This study was conducted to investigate if crossword puzzles as active learning tools can improve the knowledge retention of nursing students in pharmacology of epilepsy and improve their performance in writing the correct spelling of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).
Methods: The present study was a randomized controlled prospective parallel study in which a control group design with pretests and posttests were used among nursing students. Students were randomly allocated to either control group (n = 114) who received routine learning or intervention group (n = 110) who received crossword puzzles. Both control and intervention groups had to complete multiple-choice question (MCQs) and spelling pretests and posttests.
Results: Scores of the MCQs and spelling pretests were not statistically different (p-value > 0.05) for participants in all achievement categories in both control and intervention groups. In the intervention group, scores in the first and second MCQs and spelling posttests were significantly higher than their corresponding scores in the pretest scores for participants from the all achievement categories (p-value < 0.05) and scores of the first and second MCQs and spelling posttests were not significantly different (p-value > 0.05). Data analyses showed that there were significant normalized changes between scores of students in across all achievement categories.
Conclusion: Findings of this study suggested that crossword puzzles were effective in improving the learning of nursing students about the pharmacology of epilepsy and writing correct spelling of AEDs. Educators should consider using crossword puzzles as active learning tools to improve knowledge of nursing students about the pharmacology of epilepsy.
Keywords: Active learning; Crossword puzzles; Epilepsy; Knowledge; Nursing; Pharmacology.
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