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Mobile learning in medicine: an evaluation of attitudes and behaviours of medical students

Chase, TJG; Julius, A; Chandan, JS; Powell, E; Hall, CS; Phillips, BL; Burnett, R; ... Fernando, B; + view all (2018) Mobile learning in medicine: an evaluation of attitudes and behaviours of medical students. BMC Medical Education , 18 , Article 152. 10.1186/s12909-018-1264-5. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mobile learning (mLearning) devices (such as tablets and smartphones) are increasingly part of the clinical environment but there is a limited and somewhat conflicting literature regarding the impact of such devices in the clinical learning environment. This study aims to: assess the impact of mLearning devices in the clinical learning environment on medical students' studying habits, attitudes towards mobile device supported learning; and the perceived reaction of clinicians and patients to the use of these devices as part of learning in the clinical setting. METHODS: Over three consecutive academic years, 18 cohorts of medical students (total n = 275) on a six-week rotation at a large teaching hospital in London were supplied with mLearning devices (iPad mini) to support their placement-based learning. Feedback on their experiences and perceptions was collected via pre- and post-use questionnaires. RESULTS: The results suggest mLearning devices have a positive effect on the students' perceived efficiency of working, while experience of usage not only confirmed pre-existing positive opinions about devices but also disputed some expected limitations associated with mLearning devices in the clinical workplace. Students were more likely to use devices in 'down-time' than as part of their clinical learning. As anticipated, both by users and from the literature, universal internet access was a major limitation to device use. The results were inconclusive about the student preference for device provision versus supporting a pre-owned device. CONCLUSION: M-learning devices can have a positive impact on the learning experiences medical students during their clinical attachments. The results supported the feasibility of providing mLearning devices to support learning in the clinical environment. However, universal internet is a fundamental limitation to optimal device utilisation.

Type: Article
Title: Mobile learning in medicine: an evaluation of attitudes and behaviours of medical students
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1264-5
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1264-5
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Electronic learning, Learning and study skills, Medical education, Medical students
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051824
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