Nirupma Sharma, MD, MD, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA, Lisa E. Leggio, MD, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA
Goal: To evaluate medical student preferences about the pediatric clerkship.
Background: Schools must demonstrate comparability across sites. Rapid expansion of class size and clinical sites has strained teaching capacity resulting in use of simulation and web-based learning to supplement patient care experiences. Although students are computer-savvy, it is unclear if preferences for learning modality have changed. Student preferences can inform decisions about expenditures on resources and curriculum changes.
Methods: Students enrolled in the pediatric clerkship at the Medical College of Georgia during one academic year were surveyed about preferences for learning resources. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Topics included preferences about text and review books, web-based resources, lecture format, clerkship structure and orientation.
Results: Of 190 surveys, 132 (69%) were completed. When ranking mode of lecture delivery, 53.1% preferred live facilitated discussions, and 15.8% preferred live discussions with videoconferencing. Videotaped conferences, Podcasts, and web-based lectures with asynchronous participation were not ranked as highly. Students ranked options in the following order: Live facilitated discussions (2.12), live with video-conferencing (2.96), podcasts (3.26), videotaped lectures on web (3.63), web-based lectures with asynchronous participation (3.73), and other (5.24). Students prefer live orientations, but if web-based they should include audio and visual components.
Conclusions: Students prefer live interactive lectures and orientation to video-recorded or web-based presentations. Expanding schools must consider student preferences as they develop resources to maintain comparability between sites. Maintaining human interaction may require duplication of services and additional faculty development for community sites.