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      A comparison of teaching three common ear, nose, and throat conditions to medical students through video podcasts and written handouts: a pilot study

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          This pilot study conducted at the Peninsula Medical School is one of very few studies to compare the use of video podcasts to traditional learning resources for medical students.


          We developed written handouts and video podcasts for three common ear, nose, and throat conditions; epistaxis, otitis media, and tonsillitis. Forty-one second-year students were recruited via email. Students completed a 60-item true or false statement test written by the senior author (20 questions per subject). Students were subsequently randomized to podcast or handouts. Students were able to access their resource via their unique university login on the university homepage and were given 3 weeks to use their resource. They then completed the same 60-item test.


          Both podcasts and handouts demonstrated a statistically significant increase in student scores (podcasts mean increase in scores 4.7, P=0.004, 95% confidence interval =0.07). Handout mean increase in scores 5.3, P=0.015, 95% confidence interval =0.11). However, there was no significant difference ( P=0.07) between the two, with the handout group scoring fractionally higher (podcasts average post-exposure score =37.3 vs handout 37.8) with a larger average improvement. A 5-point Likert scale questionnaire demonstrated that medical students enjoy using reusable learning objects such as podcasts and feel that they should be used more in their curriculum.


          Podcasts are as good as traditional handouts in teaching second-year medical students three core ear, nose, and throat conditions and enhance their learning experience.

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          Most cited references 8

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          The impact of E-learning in medical education.

          The authors provide an introduction to e-learning and its role in medical education by outlining key terms, the components of e-learning, the evidence for its effectiveness, faculty development needs for implementation, evaluation strategies for e-learning and its technology, and how e-learning might be considered evidence of academic scholarship. E-learning is the use of Internet technologies to enhance knowledge and performance. E-learning technologies offer learners control over content, learning sequence, pace of learning, time, and often media, allowing them to tailor their experiences to meet their personal learning objectives. In diverse medical education contexts, e-learning appears to be at least as effective as traditional instructor-led methods such as lectures. Students do not see e-learning as replacing traditional instructor-led training but as a complement to it, forming part of a blended-learning strategy. A developing infrastructure to support e-learning within medical education includes repositories, or digital libraries, to manage access to e-learning materials, consensus on technical standardization, and methods for peer review of these resources. E-learning presents numerous research opportunities for faculty, along with continuing challenges for documenting scholarship. Innovations in e-learning technologies point toward a revolution in education, allowing learning to be individualized (adaptive learning), enhancing learners' interactions with others (collaborative learning), and transforming the role of the teacher. The integration of e-learning into medical education can catalyze the shift toward applying adult learning theory, where educators will no longer serve mainly as the distributors of content, but will become more involved as facilitators of learning and assessors of competency.
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            Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education: an online survey.

            To identify the current familiarity and use of Web 2.0 technologies by medical students and qualified medical practitioners, and to identify the barriers to its use for medical education. A semi-structured online questionnaire survey of 3000 medical students and 3000 qualified medical practitioners (consultants, general practitioners and doctors in training) on the British Medical Association's membership database. All groups had high familiarity, but low use, of podcasts. Ownership of digital media players was higher among medical students. There was high familiarity, but low use, of other Web 2.0 technologies except for high use of instant messaging and social networking by medical students. All groups stated that they were interested in using Web 2.0 technologies for education but there was lack of knowledge and skills in how to use these new technologies. There is an overall high awareness of a range of new Web 2.0 technologies by both medical students and qualified medical practitioners and high interest in its use for medical education. However, the potential of Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education will only be achieved if there is increased training in how to use this new approach.
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              Web-based learning: pros, cons and controversies.

               David A. Cook (2015)
              Advantages of web-based learning (WBL) in medical education include overcoming barriers of distance and time, economies of scale, and novel instructional methods, while disadvantages include social isolation, up-front costs, and technical problems. Web-based learning is purported to facilitate individualised instruction, but this is currently more vision than reality. More importantly, many WBL instructional designs fail to incorporate principles of effective learning, and WBL is often used for the wrong reasons (e.g., for the sake of technology). Rather than trying to decide whether WBL is superior to or equivalent to other instructional media (research addressing this question will always be confounded), we should accept it as a potentially powerful instructional tool, and focus on learning when and how to use it. Educators should recognise that high fidelity, multimedia, simulations, and even WBL itself will not always be necessary to effectively facilitate learning.

                Author and article information

                Adv Med Educ Pract
                Adv Med Educ Pract
                Advances in Medical Education and Practice
                Advances in Medical Education and Practice
                Dove Medical Press
                10 May 2016
                : 7
                : 281-286
                [1 ]Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, United Kingdom
                [2 ]ENT Department, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Plymouth, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine, Plymouth, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hisham S Khalil, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Level 2, John Bull Building, Tamar Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth, PL6 8BU, United Kingdom, Email hisham.khalil@
                © 2016 Edmond et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                rct, e-learning, epistaxis, otitis media, tonsillitis


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