PHOENIX-Medical students who use computer-assisted learning (CAL) when learning epistaxis management have superior performance over their counterparts who simply go by the book. At least this is the finding from a randomized trial of first-year medical students who studied nasal packing techniques either by CAL, or via a standard textbook chapter on the topic. Details of the study were presented at the Triological Society section at the recent annual Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting by Jordan Glicksman, BSc, a third-year medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.
Explore this issue:September 2009
Computer-assisted learning has been increasing in medical education. It has many advantages, such as allowing students to learn at their own pace, and at the time and location of their choosing, he said. In addition, there are great multimedia capabilities: As well as containing reading and quizzes, in some programs students can practice techniques in a virtual, 3D format and get feedback. It is also a helpful teaching aid for use in rural settings, at satellite campuses, and in developing countries, he said.
Barriers to wider use of CAL include the extra cost of the learning modules, and conflicting evidence in the medical literature about their effectiveness as a learning tool.