Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


Search This Site

COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

The practicality of e-learning in improving knowledge of medical students about basic concepts in pediatrics

Rima Khasawneh,UNMC,Omaha,Nebraska,Kari Simonsen,UNMC,Omaha,Nebraska,Jessica Snowden,UNMC,Omaha,Nebraska,Joy . Higgins,UNMC,Omaha,Nebraska,Gary Beck,UNMC,Omaha,Nebraska

Background: Electronic learning allows individualized education and has been shown to improve student performance in previous studies. We explored an online learning environment initially using two topics within infectious diseases.

Objective: Assessment of the effect of e-modules about infection control (IC) and congenital infections (CONG) on medical knowledge.

Methods: A quasi-experimental, prospective study involving third-year medical students on the pediatric clerkship during 2013-2014 was conducted. Each e-module was available within the course management system as PowerPoint slides, narrated presentation, and detailed protocol document. E-module visits were tracked. Students who completed the infectious diseases (ID) rotation during the clerkship were tracked as these topics were addressed during the rotation. Pre- and post-tests for e-modules were completed. Post-test items included more complex questions that could have been answered if the detailed document was completed. Data analysis involved non-parametric and correlation tests.

Results: 63% of students visited at least one e-module.  Post-test scores of medical knowledge did not increase (IC 90% pre vs. 61% post; CONG 58% pre vs.61% post).  No difference in post-test scores was found based on doing at least one e-module versus not, timing of rotation through the third year, doing the ID rotation, or visiting the detailed protocol document. No correlation was found between either pre- or post-tests and NBME scores; there was no difference between mean NBME scores and those who visited the detailed protocol document.

Discussion:  E-modules of CONG and IC did not improve post-test scores. Visiting e-modules, order of rotation or completing the ID rotation did not improve the post-test or NBME scores. Visiting the detailed document did not improve post-test scores and was not related to higher NBME grades. The declining IC post-test performance may be due to more difficult post-test items, indicating that the post-test was more difficult than originally intended.  Future directions in order to better understand e-learning as a teaching tool include new modules about rheumatology conditions, which will be evaluated using the same questions in pre- and post-tests, and will be analyzed similarly for 2014-2015 student performance.