Blended learning in medical education: use of an integrated approach with web-based small group modules and didactic instruction for teaching radiologic anatomy

Kitt Shaffer, Juan E Small
Academic Radiology 2004, 11 (9): 1059-70

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: To describe the development of and assess student satisfaction with a blended learning method for teaching radiologic anatomy that integrates web-based instruction with small group and didactic teaching.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 2002 the teaching of radiologic anatomy to first-year medical students was changed from group learning (20-30 students with a preceptor and films at a viewbox) to a blended learning model that included a brief didactic introduction followed by small group (7-8 students) web-based structured learning modules with rotating lab instructors. In 2003 the modules were changed to include self-study cases prior to the lab, follow-up cases, and twice-weekly optional review sessions. Students and lab instructors were surveyed for their response to the content and design of the sessions.

RESULTS: Course surveys in 2001, with a response rate of 84%, showed 58 negative comments regarding inconsistency between various instructors. Individual response rates for 2002 for radiologic anatomy teaching sessions (RadLab) surveys ranged from 56%-81%, dropping as the course progressed. All RadLabs were rated "very useful" or "useful," except the cardiovascular lab, which was not designed as an interactive module. In 2003, after redesign of the cardiovascular lab in the same format as the other labs, all RadLabs were rated 2.4 or better (useful).

CONCLUSION: An integration of computers with small and large group didactic instruction allow optimal use of faculty, conform to accepted theories of adult learning, and are well-accepted by students.

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