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Whatsapp as a Platform for Self Directed Learning in Medical Students | Abstract
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International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

Abstract

Whatsapp as a Platform for Self Directed Learning in Medical Students

Author(s):Vikas Kumar and Prachi Renjhen*

Introduction: Teaching a smart generation of medical students has always been a challenging issue. Mobile technology is one of the latest extensions of technological innovations that can be integrated into medical education. Many studies have indicated that mobile, wireless device technology supports teaching and learning. The biggest advantage is that it can be used anywhere and anytime and can serve as a tool for Self-Directed Learning (SDL). Aim and Objectives: To implement WhatsApp as a platform for SDL and to study the perception of students and teachers. Methodology: An interventional study was carried out among the first semester students of Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and hospital, in the month of Oct-Dec 2019 after obtaining clearance from the ethical committee. Consent of students and faculty was obtained after sensitizing them. WhatsApp group dedicated to SDL activity was made with participating students and faculty and the SDL module was shared on the WhatsApp group. This was followed by an assessment using Google form. A pre-validated questionnaire on Google form was used to collect feedback from the faculty and students. Data from Google sheet was imported to excel sheet and perceptions of students and teachers were analyzed. The interaction over WhatsApp was also analyzed. Findings: Of the 125 students in 1st semester 118 participated in the study. Majorities (85%) of them found self-directed learning through WhatsApp to be an interesting exercise, were satisfied (83%), and felt that it motivated them to study and enhanced their learning. Over 8% felt that learning was self-paced. About 70% of students felt that this platform increased interaction with their peers. All teachers felt that WhatsApp was a good tool to conduct SDL and over 80% felt that it increased student participation and made assessment easier. Though 66% felt that it was time-consuming, over eighty percent were motivated to conduct SDL using this platform. Conclusions: Students and teachers are favorably inclined to use WhatsApp for self-directed learning and welcomed its role in enhancing their learning experience; however, large multi-center studies are required before it’s adopted in the medical curriculum across the board.


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