Introducing E-learning in Epidemiology Course for Undergraduate Medical Students at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade: A Pilot Study
The aim of this study was to determine whether e-learning as a new teaching concept was acceptable for second-year undergraduates and to compare attitudes and exam results of students who followed electronic compared with classroom seminars. The electronic seminars (e-seminars) were developed several months prior to start of the epidemiology course for second-year students at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade. The students who applied for e-seminars accessed their content during summer semester (February–May) 2014. E-seminars were set according to the existing topics in practical workbook and designed using Moodle, a free, open-source, personal home page web application for producing modular internet-based courses. To evaluate the motives for enrollment and satisfaction with seminars, two surveys (pre- and post-course) were administered. Students’ exam grades were registered over 4 exam sessions (June–October 2014) and compared according to seminar program. Out of 516 students in the second year, 60 (11.6 %) applied for e-seminars (mean age 21 years). Students considered the reason “It’s easier to do assignments from home” as the strongest motive to participate. When compared to classroom seminars, students in e-seminars had significantly more fun (p = 0.003), thought that e-seminars were better mode to learn epidemiology (p = 0.030) and would recommend them to other colleagues (p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in average grade received at the oral exam in epidemiology (t = 0.071, p = 0.944). E-seminars in undergraduate epidemiology course add a novel, easy-to-follow and amusing mode of learning. Based on this pilot study, e-seminars in epidemiology will be available for next generations of students, while further improvement of e-seminars could include expansion of seminar syllabus and development of discussion fora.
KeywordsE-learning Epidemiology Medical students Seminars Undergraduate
This investigation was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grants No. 175042, 175046, 175087).
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Assoc. Prof. Milos Bajcetic and Dr Ivan Zaletel from the Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, for providing overview of electronic courses at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade.
The authors would like to thank Assist. Prof. Bosiljka Djikanovic from the Institute of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, for critically reviewing the draft version of the manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
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