Undergraduate medical student’s perceptions and experiences of m-learning in pharmacology
Keywords:m-learning, Information and communication technology (ICT), Pharmacology, Medical Students, Smart phones
Background: The current generation of medical students has grown up surrounded by information and communication technology (ICT). The ICT has been a critical component of teaching and learning in higher education over the last few decades. Mobile devices, such as smart phones, can have a significant contribution to modern medical education. Mobile learning or m‑learning is a new concept in learning process. M‑learning is supported by a variety of devices including smartphones. These devices integrate a series of features used in various learning environments. Pharmacology is a crucial subject for medical students who are going to be future medical practitioners. The aim of this study was to know how pharmacology students perceive mobile phones as an educational tool?
Methods: Prevalidated Questionnaires were distributed among 145 pharmacology students by simple randomization out of which 105 were returned completely filled. Analysis was done by manual calculators, Vassar Stats, and SPSS. Results are expressed in frequencies and percentages.
Results: Among the respondents 56.2% were males and 43.8% were females. All the respondents owned a mobile phone. 77.1% revealed that they mainly use mobile phones for internet purposes. 26.7% revealed that they use it solely for social networking, 9.5% for educational purposes and 63.8% used it for both social networking as well as educational purposes. Educational activities smartphones were used for included: reading lecture notes (24.8%), downloading lecture related videos (38.1%), downloading medical e‑books (29.5%), medical dictionaries (27.6%), opening doc and pdf files (35.2%), lab references (10.5%), medical calculators (6.7%). 78.1% had the opinion that m‑learning has a positive impact on learning and 68.6% indicated that mobile phone has improved their learning. Small screen size of phone (13.3%), costly bundled data (49.5%), limited phone storage (25.7%), low battery backup (28.6%), slow internet (48.6%), theft risk (3.8%), and parental prohibition to mobile phone use (12.4%) were the various barriers to m‑learning, indicated by the respondents.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that medical students have a positive attitude toward m‑learning. M‑learning will facilitate the learning process without being tied to a physical location.
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