Author(s): Premkumar K, Baumber JS
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Abstract Innovations in medical education have led to the increasing use of problem-based learning techniques, a committee system organization, and more time for independent study in many undergraduate programmes. There has been an increase in availability of alternative methods for presentation of information. To encourage self-directed learning, resources such as computers, videos and models, among others, should be readily available to students. The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine has provided various resources contained in one area, called the Bacs Learning Resource Centre (BLRC). Since the maintenance and further development of such a centre requires significant resources, it is important to determine student utilization of the various components used in their learning. For those who are about to set up such a learning resource centre this information gives guidance on which materials are most useful. The utilization of the centre by 69 first year medical students was studied using questionnaires. The utilization during a specific course was determined by analysing the entries in the individual log books given to the students at the beginning of the Integrative Course. With the exception of one student, all those who responded to the questionnaire used the Centre, with 20\% or less of their total study time being spent there. The BLRC was most used for the Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular and Reticulo-Endothelial courses. All categories of resources were found to be useful, with the tape/slides least utilized. Utilization was most influenced by the quality of resources available and recommendations by peers. The development of a centre such as the BLRC, with a variety of resources concentrated in one area, suitable for individual or group study and accessible 24 hours a day, should be considered by all medical schools to enhance self-directed learning in medical students.
This article was published in Med Educ
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy