Incorporating Online Learning into a Two-Week Radiology Elective

By: Yuhao Wu & Brent Burbridge

Objectives: Basic knowledge in medical imaging is becoming increasingly important for clinicians in many specialties. However, designing an effective Radiology elective for undergraduate medical students can be challenging due to the lack of opportunities for active learning. In this study, we examine the impact of incorporating an online learning platform and an electronic book into the elective experience.

Methods: 23 students who pursued a two-week Diagnostic Radiology elective at the University of Saskatchewan were enrolled. Their knowledge prior to the elective was assessed using two Pre-Tests. During the elective, students had opportunities to work with Radiologists and residents to review clinical imaging, attend academic rounds, and engage in the online learning resources. Their knowledge after the elective experience was re-assessed using two Post-Tests with the same questions as the Pre-Tests, and a teaching case. Students also ranked their perception of the elective experience and educational resources on a Likert scale from 1 to 5.

Results: There were statistically significant increases of 13.4% (p < 0.0001) in mean Test 1 scores, and 6.8% in mean Test 2 scores (p = 0.001). Students had favorable perceptions of the Radiology elective experience: they felt that their goals and objectives were met (mean score: 4.5 out of 5), and rated the electronic book (4.5 out of 5) and online platform (4.2 out of 5) as valuable educational resources.

Discussion: The implementation of an electronic book and online learning platform improved knowledge in Radiology and increased student perception of the elective experience. This supports the use of online resources to facilitate independent self-learning in future Radiology electives.

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