Experiences based on the application of a study guide for the prize exam in Microbiology


Experiences based on the application of a study guide for the prize exam in Microbiology

Experiencias sobre la aplicación de una guía de estudio para examen de premio en Microbiología



Lourdes Serrano García1 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1830-2678
Lidia Serrano García2 https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1507-0119


1Holguin University of Medical Sciences. "Mariana Grajales Coello" Faculty of Medical Sciences. Department of Basic Sciences. Holguin. Cuba.
2Holguin University of Medical Sciences. Teaching Polyclinic "Pedro del Toro Saad". Holguin Cuba.


*Author for correspondence. E mail: lourdessg@infomed.sld.cu




The prize exams, which constitute a way to raise the quality of higher education graduates, aim at stimulating the students so as to deepen in the learning of the subjects and disciplines of their study program. The professors of the Microbiology department of the Medical Sciences Faculty in Holguin province, as part of the perfectioning of the subject had the purpose to motivate and to promote the participation of the students, who take the second year of the Dentistry degree and the ones that possess the established requirements, to accomplish the prize exams in the academic year 2018-2019, through the elaboration of a guide of contents as a starting point for their independent study. The authors have the objective to socialize this experience in order to generalize it in other academic spaces and/or subjects because of the good results obtained.

MeSH: learning, students, dental; educational measurement; education, medical.


Los exámenes de premio, los cuales constituyen una vía para elevar la calidad de los egresados de la educación superior, tienen como objetivo estimular a los estudiantes para que profundicen en el estudio de las asignaturas y disciplinas que conforman su plan de estudio. El colectivo de Microbiología de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas "Mariana Grajales Coello", de la provincia Holguín, como parte del perfeccionamiento de la asignatura, se propuso motivar y promover la participación de los estudiantes que cursan el segundo año de la carrera de Estomatología en el curso 2018-2019, y poseen los requisitos establecidos para realizar el examen de premio, a través de la elaboración de una guía de contenidos como punto de partida para el estudio independiente. Los autores se propusieron como objetivo socializar esta experiencia a fin de que se generalice en otros espacios académicos y/o asignaturas, por sus buenos resultados.

DeSC: aprendizaje; estudiantes de Odontología; evaluación educacional; educación médica.



Submitted: 21/01/2019
Accepted: 30/01/2020



Undergraduate education in Cuba is conceived as the set of teaching and learning processes that have the social function of guaranteeing the training of a professional capable of facing social demands, scientific-technical advances and the use of technologies, so that it becomes an active actor and promoter of the sustainable development of humanity.(1)

Particularly, higher medical education has the mission of forming a comprehensive graduate: "... that, from its perspective and its own professional profile, has a cultural projection capable of generating, with its capacities, skills, abilities and values, successful activities for their country and insert itself efficiently in the international environment".(2)

A consubstantial element in the development of the teaching-learning process in these high houses of study is the assessment of learning. Ministerial Resolution No. 2/18 establishes in Chapter IV everything related to it, giving emphasis to the instructional, educational, feedback and regulatory functions of the assessment of learning that students acquire and develop.(3)

In regard to this, the authors call attention to the importance of prize exams, which constitute a way to raise the quality of higher education graduates, and which, as stated in the aforementioned resolution, section nine, article 220, aim to stimulate students to deepen in the study of the subjects and disciplines that make up their curriculum.

The Microbiology teaching staff of "Mariana Grajales Coello" Faculty of Medical Sciences from Holguin province, as part of the improvement of the subject, set out to motivate and promote the participation of students attending the second year of the Dentistry degree in the 2018-2019 academic year, and they have the requirements established in the prize exam, through the development of a content guide that will serve as a starting point for their study. Of course, it is necessary to deepen its contents through the searching of updated data and information regarding the subject.

The Microbiology subject has its peculiarities in terms of the characteristics of the teaching-learning process, namely: the presence of difficult writing and pronunciation terms (some of them in Latin), especially those used in the taxonomy and microbial nomenclature, the numerous and new definitions that must be incorporated to achieve understanding, the fact that microorganisms and their properties are invisible, which demands high abstraction; as well as the breadth and complexity of the content, which can undermine the appropriate learning sometimes. For these reasons, the use of guides is very favorable to complement the teaching orientation.

This study guide which is an excellent and complete learning tool was born at the light of scientific and methodological debates. With its implementation the student will feel motivated to participate because they are guided by the objectives and content of interest presented in a more direct and understandable way; it favors planning and making better use of the available time to study, understanding the criteria of quality of the subject and adopting an attitude of disposition towards meaningful learning, and obliges it to reasonably prepare for the evaluation based on the claim of high levels of demand, so that their chances of success increase; advantages are already appreciated by other authors.(4,5) In short, it constitutes a means of communication and guidance for those interested in measuring their knowledge through a prize exam.

The content included in the guide was that of acute herpetic gingivostomatitis, structured in three sections: Periodontal diseases, non-plaque-induced gingival lesions and Herpesviridae family with their corresponding sections, which include invariants such as objectives based on the fact that students should carry out the study and the bibliography they should consult for it. The detailed guidance about the skills that would be evaluated and the final inclusion of a glossary of terms to favor the understanding of some terms were taken into account.

Out of a total of 70 students, 25 (35.7 %) were presented that met the requirements established for participation, which achieved satisfactory results and showed high acceptance of the guide as a dynamic and systematizing element of learning. Its elaboration favored the existence of a favorable cognitive environment in which there was also an increase in the personalized teacher-student interaction. Five prizes were awarded for the highest quality works with great excellence; the task of the selection was very difficult.

The subject teaching staff experienced a positive rise in terms of methodological maturity, creativity and scientism; it is worth adding that the good results obtained led to continue improving self-preparation with a view to achieving a teaching-learning process of the subject that has greater integrity in which the instructional, educational and developing components more efficiently converge.

This experience allowed us to reflect on the countless variants or alternatives, tools, aids, predictive strategies, etc. which the teacher has as an actor in the educational process, to personalize knowledge and enrich teaching, particularized in this case, in the university setting; it is a challenge to continue working towards being protagonists in the construction of an education committed to the formation of the competent professional model that responds to social demands and also to the challenge imposed by current scientific-technical development.

It is a pleasure to invite you to experience this beautiful and feedback experience.


1. Ortiz-Díaz MI. Vías para el tratamiento metodológico a las habilidades teóricas. Rev Dom Cien [Internet]. 2016 [citado 12/01/2019];2(Extra 3):[aprox. 11 p.]. Disponible en: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/5802934.pdf

2. Salas R, Salas A. Proceso formativo del médico. En: Modelo formativo del médico cubano. Bases teóricas y metodológicas. La Habana: Editorial Ciencias Médicas; 2017.

3. Ministerio de Educación Superior. Resolución No. 2/18. Reglamento Docente y Metodológico. La Habana: Editorial Universitaria; 2018.

4. González Jaramillo S, Recino Pineda U. Las estrategias de aprendizaje en la educación médica superior. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2013 [citado 16/01/2019];5(3):[aprox. 7 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.revedumecentro.sld.cu/index.php/edumc/article/view/293/530

5. Navarro Lores D, Samón Matos M. Redefinición de los conceptos método de enseñanza y método de aprendizaje. EduSol [Internet]. 2017 [citado 29/01/2019];17(60):[aprox. 6 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.redalyc.org/jatsRepo/4757/475753184013/475753184013.pdf



Declaration of interests

The authors do not declare conflicts of interest.



Authors' contribution

Lourdes Serrano García: conception, theoretical-methodological design and critical review of the work, mathematical calculations of figures.
Lidia Serrano García: updated bibliographic findings; translation to English.



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