Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

The Wiki as a Supplement to the Pediatric Senior Elective Syllabus

Craig C. DeWolfe,Children's National Health System,Washington,DC,Wilhelmina C. Bradford,Children's National Health System,Washington,DC

Background:  Despite a robust course syllabus for the pediatric electives offered by George Washington University at Children's National, students have requested more information.  In keeping with the published experience of an internal medicine residency program (Crotty BH, 2012), we created a wiki on our learning platform in January 2014 to allow students to supplement their course directors' syllabi for the benefit of future colleagues. 

Objective:  To describe data entered by students in a pediatric electives wiki and its perceived utility.

Methods:  Three sources of data were collected: a count of wiki page-views, a mixed methods survey of student experience and satisfaction with the wiki, and an analysis of comments entered on the site.  Descriptive statistics were calculated from quantitative measures and themes generated from comments.

Results:  167 students enrolled in pediatric electives between January-October 2014.  They accessed the wiki 285 times and contributed information on 18 (69%) of the electives. Among the courses described by students, 83% (n=15) contained information on these suggested categories: "a typical day", "best learning opportunities", "best faculty/preceptors", "most useful resources", and "helpful things to know before starting". 

Twenty-eight of the 54 students enrolled in electives in September-October 2014 (52%) responded to a written survey. All students reported knowing about the wiki with 89% (n=25) accessing the site.  Among site visitors, 88% (n=21) agreed or strongly agreed that the information was accurate and useful while 89% (n=25) found the syllabus and other related materials to be accurate and useful.  When asked what and/or how the wiki was useful during the elective, students referenced information about logistics (scheduling, parking) and attending/course expectations. When asked how the wiki could be more helpful, students requested more information about logistics and improved site navigation tools. 

Discussion:  Students access a student generated, pediatric elective wiki and contribute to it.  They rate information in the wiki and syllabus equally and highly accurate and useful.  They value information about logistics and course expectations.  Limitations to the survey include a small sample size, response rate, and the potential for response bias.  The benefit of a course wiki is promising and warrants further exploration.