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Paper versus device – which has a greater impact on the medical student’s performance?

S Bin Said, A Alzahrani, N Tawfeeq, M Al Asmary
Published in : HAMDAN MEDICAL JOURNAL ; Vol 8, No 4 (2015): Supplement Issue
DOI : 10.7707/hmj.578


Introduction: Technology, a growing field, has been closely linked with productivity during the second half of the 1990s. According to Gorman (2014), there were ‘ new estimates of the role of technological change in the unusual increases in measured productivity’ . This research aimed to study the impact of technology on medical students’  performance.

Objectives: First, the study aimed to identify the educational tools used among medical students. Second, to evaluate the different learning styles among medical students by using Kolb’ s version 3.1 (HayGroup®, Philadelphia, PA, USA). The third and fourth objectives referred to acknowledgement of impact of educational tools and learning style on grade point average (GPA).

Materials and methods: A quantitative study was performed by creating online surveys for medical students in fourth, fifth and sixth years of study in order to focus on clinically oriented students. The sample size was random and 147 out of 254 students completed the survey.

Results: The chosen measurable tool, GPA, did not have a direct impact on the students’  performance. However, it showed that students with an A average GPA used smart devices more than paper-based material, and in comparison with students with a C average GPA who used paper-based material more. Regarding Kolb’ s, it showed that most medical students are considered ‘ Convergers’ , which simply means that they think about the problem, understand it and then try to solve it. Furthermore, the majority of medical students believe that smart devices will have a greater impact on medical education in the future.

Conclusions: This study aims to encourage universities to provide free access to ebooks, journals and educational videos to medical students.

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank King Abdullah International Medical Research Center and National Guard Health Affairs for giving us the opportunity to work on a research project during the summer. We would also like to thank the biostatisticians who helped organizing our data and tables. Most importantly, we acknowledge each medical student who completed our survey, because without them we would not have any research data.

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