Web-based learning in undergraduate medical education: development and assessment of an online course on experimental surgery

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Bernardo, V
Ramos, M. P.
Plapler, H.
Figueiredo, LFP de
Nader, H. B.
Ancao, M. S.
von Dietrich, C. P.
Sigulem, D.
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In order to increase the number of practical and discussion classes offered to students in the traditional-curriculum scenario, while decreasing the lecture-based ones and to create an online community to share knowledge on surgery, we developed and assessed the first online course for undergraduate medical students on experimental surgery at the Federal University of São Paulo-UNIFESP, Brazil. the purposes of the present study are: describe and discuss the process and the lessons learned involved in developing an undergraduate web-based course and analyze the students' attitude towards this educational environment.A group of medical students was taught online during 5 weeks on the theory of experimental surgery through video quizzes, required readings, collaborative activities using discussion board and asynchronous communication. the students' knowledge gain, their web session variables and the results of the course evaluation were used to support our study.The students have significantly improved their knowledge on experimental surgery after the course. Among factors in the online course that could possibly have contributed to this gain, the interactive activities (video quizzes), key element in our online material, seemed to be promising for candidates. the evaluation results demonstrated high levels of course functionality, effectiveness of its online content and acceptance among medical students. This study indicated that a web-based course for undergraduate students may be successfully developed and implemented in medical settings and the students seem to be quite supportive. We encourage undergraduate medical learning strategies involving the Web. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
International Journal of Medical Informatics. Clare: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd, v. 73, n. 9-10, p. 731-742, 2004.