Forman LJ, Pomerantz SC. Computer-Assisted Instruction: A Survey on the Attitudes of Osteopathic Medical Students. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2006;106(9):571–578. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.9.571.
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Objectives: To investigate the views of osteopathic medical students on their preferred learning methods, their current use of computers as an educational tool, and their attitudes regarding the role of computers in medical education, based on their skill level.
Methods: A 27-item questionnaire was distributed to first-through fourth-year osteopathic medical students. Items asked students to assess their levels of computer skills and experience, their current use of computers as an educational tool, and their attitudes regarding the role of computers in medical education.
Results: Of the 246 students (80% of enrolled students) who responded to the questionnaire, a majority (129 [53%]) rated themselves as having intermediate computer skills, and the remaining students rated their skills as basic (69 [28%]) or advanced (46 [19%]). Most students (176 [72%]) felt that they learned best by both hearing and seeing or reading new material, that they learned more easily from a printed page than a computer screen, and that live lectures provided them with the best opportunity for learning. However, when compared with students who have basic and intermediate computer skills, students with advanced computer skills were more in favor of computer-assisted instruction and testing as well as a school requirement to own a computer and to use a laptop computer in class.
Conclusions: Students' opinions of the importance of computer technology in medical education seem to be based mainly on their self-assessed technical competency levels. Understanding this dynamic may aid medical educators in the implementation of computer-assisted instruction.
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