Objectives: To understand the perceptions of medical students about the current use of interactive learning, its effectiveness and barriers in its implementation. Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out at the College of Medicine, Northern Border University, Arar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Study participants were fifth and final year medical students. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the information in relation to perceptions regarding the use of interactive learning, its effectiveness, and barriers. The questionnaire consisted of Likert scale ranking and close-ended questions. The student’s response was analyzed by frequency analysis. Results: A total of 150 students participated in the study. The most frequently used methods for interactive learning at the College of Medicine were small group discussions (68%) and problem-based learning (56%). Educational games and online videos were used rarely. There was positive feedback regarding the effectiveness of interactive learning in generating interest in learning (84%) and understanding of subject (85%). 80% of the students also reported an improvement in exam scores as a result of interactive learning. The main barriers reported to adoption of interactive learning were inadequate class time (70%), faculty is accustomed to traditional lectures (66%) and lack of trained faculty members (40%). Conclusion: The data suggest despite barriers interactive teaching is being frequently and effectively used at the College of Medicine, Northern Border University, Arar. It is suggested more interactive learning techniques should be incorporated in the curriculum and barriers in adoption can be overcome by following faculty development programs and administrative support.
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