Experiences of using Prezi in Medical Education

Duffy, R. M., Guerandel, A., Casey, P. and Malone, K. (2013) Experiences of using Prezi in Medical Education. In: 6th scientific meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED), 21st February to Friday 22nd February 2013, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.


Prezi is a free cloud based presentation software allowing lecturers to create a zoomable canvas on which to develop ideas. The software can also produce a mind map; which are much harder to produce using conventional presentation software. Prezi facilitates learners in gaining both an over view of a subject and understanding where more complex issues fit into the overall picture. This study examines student’s experience of lectures presented using Prezi both in the lecture theatre and for their personal study. It then considers the steps that can be taken my medical educators to appropriately use Prezi, maximising on its benefits while avoiding potential METHODS Prezi was used to lecture delivery and presentation in 25% of all lectures delivered in Psych 40150 (psychiatry for the final year medical students) in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. These lectures were available on Blackboard and students were free to download the lectures in their own time. The rest of the lectures were delivered using more conventional presentation styles. This cross sectional study used a questionnaire with both open and closed questions to assess student’s experience of the software. RESULTS 97% (32/33) of students found Prezi to be a more engaging experience compared to other styles of lecture delivery. 93% (31/33) said it provided them with a useful overview of the subject. On the whole the media was not found to be distracting or confusing. Problems arose when students tried to use Prezi in their personal study with 48% (16/33) reporting some difficulties. These were mostly technical problems but for a minority this was with the medium itself. CONCLUSION This study highlights the potential Prezi has in providing students with an engaging and stimulating educational experience. However for Prezi to be effective the lecturer using it has to understand and be familiar with the software and its appropriate use as this can be the cause of the drawbacks highlighted in this study. It is essential that teachers planning to use Prezi familiarise themselves with it. It is important that teachers equip students to get the most out of it too. Information gained from feedback from students can inform them on how to improve Prezi delivery. This experience can then be used to support other teachers to avail of the benefits offered by Prezi. Many pitfalls can also be avoided by following basic rules in designing a presentation. Prezi’s potential uses in medical education extend beyond the classroom; with straight forward inclusion of video media opening up possibilities for online lectures and providing visual, interactive overviews of courses or subjects.

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