Computer-based teaching is as good as face to face lecture-based teaching of evidence based medicine: a randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Background
At postgraduate level evidence based medicine (EBM) is currently taught through tutor based lectures. Computer based sessions fit around doctors' workloads, and standardise the quality of educational provision. There have been no randomized controlled trials comparing computer based sessions with traditional lectures at postgraduate level within medicine.

Methods
This was a randomised controlled trial involving six postgraduate education centres in the West Midlands, U.K. Fifty five newly qualified foundation year one doctors (U.S internship equivalent) were randomised to either computer based sessions or an equivalent lecture in EBM and systematic reviews. The change from pre to post-intervention score was measured using a validated questionnaire assessing knowledge (primary outcome) and attitudes (secondary outcome).

Results
Both groups were similar at baseline. Participants' improvement in knowledge in the computer based group was equivalent to the lecture based group (gain in score: 2.1 [S.D = 2.0] versus 1.9 [S.D = 2.4]; ANCOVA p = 0.078). Attitudinal gains were similar in both groups.

Conclusion
On the basis of our findings we feel computer based teaching and learning is as effective as typical lecture based teaching sessions for educating postgraduates in EBM and systematic reviews.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Clinical Competence, Computer-Assisted Instruction, Education, Medical, Graduate, Educational Technology, Epidemiology, Evidence-Based Medicine, Great Britain, Humans, Information Storage and Retrieval, Interdisciplinary Communication, Internet, Program Evaluation, Questionnaires, Review Literature as Topic, Statistics as Topic, Teaching