RESEARCH – June 2020

Student evaluation of learning with the help of videolectures in the medical course of Paediatrics at the University of Tartu

Authors: Oivi Uibo, Anu Sarv, Triin Marandi

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Background. In higher education, the use of e-learning technologies has increased significantly in order to modernize learning, provide learners with more appropriate learning paths and support deep learning. The use of e-learning helps to solve a number of problems related to the curriculum design and the structure of studies, and, in addition, to the diversification of learning. Medical education is characterized by a high volume of the student workload, is complex and requires intensive study arrangements. A too long break between the theoretical and practical forms of the study and a very large share of classroom teaching do not support studies or the motivation to attend lectures.

Purpose. We were interested how much medical students actually watch videolectures, how they use them in their learning and how they evaluate the effectiveness of videolectures for their study.

Methods. Since 2017/2018, under the clinical subject “Paediatrics”, all lectures have been replaced by videolectures. A total of 50 videolectures with a total length of 1,380 minutes were used in the e-course. Students have to watch a videolecture supplied with slides and have to pass an electronic test on a given topic before every seminar, every day during the four- week course. The survey was carried out among students who had passed the exam in Paediatrics (n= 119). The students were asked to complete an online questionnaire (voluntary and anonymous) in the LimeSurvey environment. Statistical data from Panopto from Study Information System were used.

Results. Fifty- five (46%) students completed the questionnaire. Based on the Panopto statistics, 59 students of 119 reviewed video lectures (from a total of 50 lectures) at least 50 times, 9 students never opened any video lectures. The results of the survey showed that most of the students (79.9%) watched video lectures, 74.8% used lecture slides in the pdf format for learning. The students reviewed videolectures for an average of 16 minutes, covering an average of 60% of each lecture. Correlation analysis showed average negative relationship between length of the videolecture and proportion of watching (%) the video (r = -0.62, p <0.01). The shorter was the videolecture, the larger portion of it was viewed. The greatest benefit was gained from the slides in the pdf-format (83.6% of the respondents), from electronic tests and from the video with slides (80.0%). Of the learners 3.6% would prefer a face-toface lecture instead of videolectures. The students reported that the video lecture supports learning when it can be viewed at the right time, in the right place, and if it is short and has high sound quality; also if the lecturer speaks with appropriate speed (not too slowly) and gives examples rather than reads the text from slides. The quality, length and speed of videos are essential features that influenced student learning from videos. In addition, electronic tests were perceived as a strong motivator for watching videos.

Conclusions. Videos are an effective tool to transfer knowledge, but consideration is needed for how they are presented and what their content is.