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Gutmann, Joanna; Kühbeck, Felizian; Berberat, Pascal O.; Fischer, Martin R.; Engelhardt, Stefan and Sarikas, Antonio (2015): Use of Learning Media by Undergraduate Medical Students in Pharmacology: A Prospective Cohort Study.
In: PLOS ONE 10(4), UNSP e0122624 [PDF, 641kB]


The ubiquity of the internet and computer-based technologies has an increasing impact on higher education and the way students access information for learning. Moreover, there is a paucity of information about the quantitative and qualitative use of learning media by the current student generation. In this study we systematically analyzed the use of digital and non-digital learning resources by undergraduate medical students. Daily online surveys and semi-structured interviews were conducted with a cohort of 338 third year medical students enrolled in a general pharmacology course. Our data demonstrate a predominant use of digital over non-digital learning resources (69 +/- 7% vs. 31 +/- 7%;p < 0.01) by students. Most used media for learning were lecture slides (26.8 +/- 3.0%), apps (22.0 +/- 3.7%) and personal notes (15.5 +/- 2.7%), followed by textbooks (> 300 pages) (10.6 +/- 3.3%),internet search (7.9 +/- 1.6%) and e-learning cases (7.6 +/- 3.0%). When comparing learning media use of teaching vs. pre-exam self-study periods, textbooks were used significantly less during self-study (-55%;p < 0.01), while exam questions (+334%;p < 0.01) and e-learning cases (+176%;p < 0.01) were utilized more. Taken together, our study revealed a high prevalence and acceptance of digital learning resources by undergraduate medical students, in particular mobile applications.

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