Author(s): Millis RM, Dyson S, Cannon D
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Abstract The advent of internet-based delivery of basic medical science lectures may unintentionally lead to decreased classroom attendance and participation, thereby creating a distance learning paradigm. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that classroom attendance/participation may be positively correlated with performance on a written examination for first-year medical school instruction. The study subjects consisted of 115 first-year medical students. The introductory respiratory structure-function instruction was designed to include one noncompulsory pretest, four short postinstruction noncompulsory self-evaluation tests that were unannounced as to date and time, and one compulsory comprehensive examination. The relationship between attendance/participation, measured by the number of noncompulsory tests taken, and performance on the comprehensive examination was determined by Pearson's correlation coefficient, one-way ANOVA, and a chi(2)-test of significance. The average score on the pretest was 28\%; for the same items on the comprehensive examination (posttest), the average score was 73\%. For the 80 students who took the pretest, this translated to an overall score increase of 161\%. Attendance/participation in four or five of the noncompulsory tests resulted in an 83.3\% pass rate on the comprehensive exam compared with a rate of 52.9\% for attendance/participation in three, two, one, or none of the five noncompulsory tests; the overall pass rate was 60.9\%. There was a significant association between a high rate of classroom attendance/participation and a high score on the comprehensive examination (Pearson's chi(2) = 8.599, P < 0.01). These findings suggest that classroom attendance/participation may be a significant determinant of performance of medical students on comprehensive examinations in first-year basic medical science courses. It is concluded that a substantial number of first-year medical students in this study could be at risk for poor performance because they may believe that there is an equivalency between internet- and classroom-based instruction in basic medical science courses.
This article was published in Adv Physiol Educ
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals