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Is online case-based learning effective in helping undergraduate medical students choose the appropriate antibiotics to treat important infections?

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journal contribution
posted on 18.09.2020 by Niall T Stevens, Catherine Bruen, Fiona Boland, Teresa Pawlikowska, Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Hilary Humphreys
Background
Medical students are frequently confused about indication for and choice of antibiotic. We developed an online learning resource that focused on antibiotic stewardship and important infections where medical students could practise their antibiotic decision-making skills safely.
Methods
The resource was made available to third-year undergraduate medical students via their virtual learning environment. It covered the theory and fundamentals of antibiotic stewardship and five clinical cases covering important infections. We assessed the number of attempts taken to achieve the required level of understanding to pass each activity and surveyed a selection of students for their feedback.
Results
Of 310 students, over 80% engaged with the theory-based components, with an average score exceeding 90% (range 93.4%–99.7%). Eighty-three percent (258/310) engaged with the first two cases (Clostridioides difficile infection and pyelonephritis) but only 61% (189/310) of students completed the fifth case on bacterial meningitis. Only 49.4% (153/310) of students completed all five cases, with 48% (73/153) of these achieving ≥90% on their first attempt of the associated quizzes. Fifty-nine percent (23/39) agreed or strongly agreed that the quality of the learning resource was excellent. Seventy-two percent (28/39) agreed or strongly agreed that the objectives of the resource were relevant to their needs as undergraduate medical students. Only 33% (13/39) reported the resource would change their practice.
Conclusions
Student feedback was positive but engagement with the cases needs improvement. Highlighting the utility of case-based technology-enhanced learning as a safe place to practise antibiotic decision-making skills among students may improve this.

History

Associated research data files

Reviewer reports at https://academic.oup.com/jacamr/article/1/3/dlz081/5675092#supplementary-data

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This article is available at https://academic.oup.com/

Published Citation

Stevens NT, Bruen CT, Boland F, Pawlikowska T, Fitzpatrick F, Humphreys H. Is online case-based learning effective in helping undergraduate medical students choose the appropriate antibiotics to treat important infections? JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance. 2019; 1(3): dlz081

Publication Date

1 Dec 2019

Department/Unit

  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Health Professions Education Centre
  • Data Science Centre

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Version

  • Published Version (Version of Record)

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