Student Learning Tool Usage and Preferences in a Medical Microbiology Course
A Quality Improvement Study
Background: Instructors of Medical Microbiology have developed various tools to help students learn basic properties and principles of infectious agents as related to health and disease. The goal of the current quality improvement study is to assesses student use and preferences among these tools for learning course content.
Methods: Students enrolled in Medical Microbiology during spring 2019 completed an anonymous, online survey regarding learning tool use and preferences. Of the 123 students enrolled in Medical Microbiology, 61 (49.6%) completed the survey.
Results: Results suggest that of instructor-developed tools, most students used lecture slides alone (75.86%) and streamed lectures (75.86%). Fewer students used course notes (58.62%), in-person lectures (44.83%), and micro board review materials (14.29%). Qualitative responses indicated that students preferred streamed lectures over in-person lectures due to the greater flexibility of streaming lectures given that streamed lectures could be viewed at a time convenient for the student and sped up, slowed down, and replayed depending on the student’s level of understanding of specific topics covered in that lecture.
Conclusions: Respondents preferred sources such as lecture slides and streamed lectures that conveyed concepts the instructors deemed to be most important but that also allowed them to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. Future research is needed to assess whether students’ perceptions regarding the utility of resources match actual effectiveness of knowledge transfer.
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