Electronic learning can facilitate student performance in undergraduate surgical education: A prospective observational study

Healy, D. G. and Fleming, F. J. and Gilhooley, D. and Felle, P. and Wood, A. E. and Gorey, T. and McDermott, E. W. and Fitzpatrick, J. M. and O'Higgins, N. J. and Hill, A. D. K. (2005) Electronic learning can facilitate student performance in undergraduate surgical education: A prospective observational study. BMC Medical Education, 5. ISSN 14726920 (ISSN)

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Background: Our institution recently introduced a novel internet accessible computer aided learning (iCAL) programme to complement existing surgical undergraduate teaching methods. On graduation of the first full cycle of undergraduate students to whom this resource was available we assessed the utility of this new teaching facility. Method: The computer programme prospectively records usage of the system on an individual user basis. We evaluated the utilisation of the web-based programme and its impact on class ranking changes from an entry-test evaluation to an exit examination in surgery. Results: 74.4% of students were able to access iCAL from off-campus internet access. The majority of iCAL usage (64.6%) took place during working hours (08:00-18:00) with little usage on the weekend (21.1%). Working hours usage was positively associated with improvement in class rank (P = 0.025, n = 148) but out-of hours usage was not (P = 0.306). Usage during weekdays was associated with improved rank (P = 0.04), whereas weekend usage was not (P = 0.504). There were no significant differences in usage between genders (P = 0.3). Usage of the iCAL system was positively correlated with improvement in class rank from the entry to the exit examination (P = 0.046). Students with lower ranks on entry examination, were found to use the computer system more frequently (P = 0.01). Conclusion: Electronic learning complements traditional teaching methods in undergraduate surgical teaching. Its is more frequently used by students achieving lower class ranking with traditional teaching methods, and this usage is associated with improvements in class ranking. © 2005 Healy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :16; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Hill, A.D.K.; Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland; email: adkhill@ucd.ie; References: Greenhalgh, T., Computer assisted learning in undergraduate medical education (2001) BMJ, 322, pp. 40-45; Holt, R.I., Miklaszewicz, P., Cranston, I.C., Russell-Jones, D., Rees, P.J., Sonksen, P.H., Computer assisted learning is an effective way of teaching endocrinology (2001) Clin Endocrinol, 55, pp. 537-542; Karnath, B.M., Thornton, W., DasCarlos, M., Pilot study of computer based self teaching in cardiac auscultation (2003) Med Educ, 37, pp. 1048-1049; Vogel, M., Wood, D.F., Love it or hate it? Medical students attitudes to computer aided learning (2002) Med Educ, 36, pp. 214-215; Lynch, T.G., Steele, D.J., Palensky, J.E.J., Lacy, N., Duffy, S.W., Learning preferences, computer attitudes and test performance with computer aided instruction (2001) Am J Surg, 181, pp. 368-371; William, C., Aubin, S., Harkin, P., Cottrell, D., A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial of teaching provided by a computerbased multimedia package versus lecture (2001) Med Educ, 35, pp. 847-854; Reid, W.A., Harvey, J., Watson, G.R., Luqmani, R., Pjr, H., Arends, M.J., Medical student appraisal of interactive computer assisted learning programmes embedded in a general pathology course (2000) J Pathol, 191, pp. 462-465; Steele, D.J., Palensky, J.E.J., Lynch, T.G., Lacy, N.L., Duffy, S.W., Learning preferences, computer attitudes, and student evaluation of computerised instruction (2002) Med Educ, 36, pp. 225-232; Lieberman, G., Abramson, R., Volkan, K., McArdle, P.J., Tutor versus computer: A prospective comparison of interactive tutorials and computer assisted instruction in radiology education (2002) Acad Radiol, 9, pp. 40-49; Devitt, P., Palmer, E., Computer aided learning: An overvalued education resource? (1999) Med Educ, 33, pp. 136-139; Devitt, P.G., Cehic, D., Palmer, E., Computers in medical education -2: Use of a computer package to supplement the clinical experience in a surgical clerkship: An objective evaluation (1998) Aust NZ J Surg, 68, pp. 457-460; Lipman, A.J., Sade, R.M., Glotzbach, A.C., Lancaster, C.J., Marshell, M.F., The incremental value of internet based instruction as an adjunct to clasroom instruction: A propsective randomized study (2001) Acad Med, 76, pp. 1060-1064; Gilbart, M.K., Hutchison, C.R., Cusimano, M.D., Regehr, G., A computerbased trauma simulator for teaching trauma management skills (2000) Am J Surg, 179, pp. 223-228; Seabra, D., Srougi, M., Baptista, R., Nesrallah, L.J., Ortiz, V., Sigulem, D., Computer aided learning versus standard lecture for undergraduate education in urology (2004) J Urol, 171, pp. 1220-1222; Shomaker, T.S., Ricks, D.J., Hale, D.C., A prospective, randomized, controlled study of computer assisted learning in parasitology (2002) Acad Med, 77, pp. 446-449
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic achievement; article; computer program; computer system; evaluation; examination; female; human; Internet; learning; male; medical education; surgical training
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 17:30
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 17:33
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2461

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