Outcomes of Introducing a Mobile Interactive Learning Resource in a Large Medical School Course


Mobile devices are an integral part of modern medical education, as convenient platforms for access to online interactive learning resources; students’ use of textbooks has correspondingly declined. We designed an interactive iBook© for pre-clinical students encompassing the content of the pulmonary segment in an organ-based multidisciplinary course. We found, via a survey-based study, that students preferred the iBook to other faculty-supplied materials (PowerPoints and PDFs), mainly due to its interactive images, animations, and study questions. Students’ test performance did not change significantly after introducing the iBook. This study suggests that expanded use of interactive learning resources may enhance students’ engagement with pre-clinical courses.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Davies BS, Rafique J, Vincent TR, Fairclough J, Packer MH, Vincent R, et al. Mobile Medical Education (MoMEd) - how mobile information resources contribute to learning for undergraduate clinical students - a mixed methods study. BMC Med Educ. 2012;12:1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Masters KM, Ellaway RH, Topps D, Archibald D, Hogue RJ. Mobile technologies in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 105. Med Teacher. 2016;38:537–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Koohestani HR, Arabshahi SKS, Fata L, Ahmadi F. The educational effects of mobile learning on students of medical sciences: a systematic review in experimental studies. J Adv Med Educ Prof. 2018;6(2):58–69.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Maudsley G, Taylor D, Allam O, Garner J, Calinici T, Linkman K. A Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) systematic review of: what works best for health professions students using mobile (hand-held) devices for educational support on clinical placements? BEME Guide No. 52. Med Teach. 2018;28:1–16.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Klimova B. Mobile learning in medical education. J Med Syst. 2018;42:194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Pickett KM. Resource format preferences across the medical curriculum. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016;104(3):193–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Backhaus J, Huth K, Entwistle A, Homayounfar K, Koenig S. Digital affinity in medical students influences learning outcome: a cluster analytical design comparing vodcast with traditional lecture. J Surg Educ. 2019;76(3):711–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Sinclair P, Kable A, Levett-Jones T. The effectiveness of internet-based e-learning on clinician behavior and patient outcomes: a systematic review protocol. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2015;13(1):52–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Al-Hussaini A, Tomkinson A. Exploring medical undergraduates’ perceptions of the educational value of a novel ENT iBook: a qualitative study. J Vis Commun Med. 2016;39(1–2):3–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Acosta ML, Sisley A, Ross J, Brailsford I, Bhargava A, Jacobs R, et al. Student acceptance of e-learning methods in the laboratory class in optometry. PLoS One. 2018;13(12):e0209004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Payne KF, Goodson AM, Tahim A, Wharrad HJ, Fan K. Using the iBook in medical education and healthcare settings--the iBook as a reusable learning object; a report of the author’s experience using iBooks Author software. J Vis Commun Med. 2012;35(4):162–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Stewart S, Choudhury B. Mobile technology: creation and use of an iBook to teach the anatomy of the brachial plexus. Anat Sci Educ. 2015;8:429–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Sahyouni R, Mahmoodi A, Mahmoodi A, Rajaii RR, Hasjim BJ, Bustillo D, et al. Interactive iBook-based patient education in a neurotrauma clinic. Neurosurgery. 2017;81(5):787–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to thank Dr. Moshe Eisenberg and the Renaissance School of Medicine mobile MedEd initiative for their assistance with this project.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul S. Richman.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The Stony Brook University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (IRB) considered this study to be exempt from research approval, based on the anonymous collection of data in an educational setting (CORIHS no. 1090485-1).

Informed Consent

Student participation in this study was voluntary and anonymous. The institutional review board judged it to be exempt from the requirement for informed consent.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Friedmann, T., Bai, J.D.K., Ahmad, S. et al. Outcomes of Introducing a Mobile Interactive Learning Resource in a Large Medical School Course. Med.Sci.Educ. 30, 25–29 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-019-00829-8

Download citation


  • Mobile learning
  • iBook
  • Medical school pre-clinical classes
  • Test performance
  • Study habits