PG McBurney*, CM Bowman*, AV Blue‡, M Mauldin§, PM Darden*
*Dept of Pediatrics, ‡College of Medicine, and §Education Tech Lab, Medical
University of SC, Charleston, SC.
Purpose: To examine clerkship students' perspectives on clerkship website designed to provide structure and increase interactions. To determine if cycle 1 (inexperienced) students' needs differ from cycle 6 (experienced) students' needs.
Methods: Website created through course management system, WebCT, in 2004.
Components included student schedules, resident schedule links, helpful websites, syllabus, small group cases/questions, and lecture/case materials. 2 focus groups were held by non-pediatric faculty/staff not involved directly in clerkship at the clerkship's end (8 weeks, cycles 1 and 6).Voluntary participation. Questions based on Chickering and Gamson's principles.1
Results: 11 students per group (n=22). Prominent themes: A) Students liked the logistical information available and felt this central access better prepared them. B) Students felt the website was a positive learning experience; however, they did not
feel that the website increased learning interactions between students nor
between students and faculty. C) No substantive differences in themes from cycle 1 and 6.
Conclusions: There appears to be no need to create specific website features for students with different levels of experience (cycle 1 versus 6). A website is valuable to clerkship students. However, having a website available does not necessarily increase interaction between learners or learners and faculty.
1Chickering AW, Gamson ZF. Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bull. 1987;39(7):3-7.