Maurício de Maio and Marcus Castro Ferreira
Revista do Hospital das Clinicás, 2001
"Purpose: The Internet expands the range and flexibility of teaching options and enhances the ability to process the everincreasing volume of medical knowledge. The aim of this study is to describe and discuss our experience with transforming a traditional medical training course into an Internet-based course.
Method: Sixty-nine students were enrolled for a one-month course. They answered pre- and post-course questionnaires and took a multiple-choice test to evaluate the acquired knowledge.
Results: Students reported that the primary value for them of this Internet-based course was that they could choose the time of their class attendance (67%). The vast majority (94%) had a private computer and were used to visiting the Internet (75%) before the course. During the course, visits were mainly during the weekends (35%) and on the last week before the test (29%). Thirty-one percent reported that they could learn by reading only from the computer screen, without the necessity of printed material. Students were satisfied with this teaching method as evidenced by the 89% who reported enjoying the experience and the 88% who said they would enroll for another course via the Internet. The most positive aspect was freedom of scheduling, and the most negative was the lack of personal contact with the teacher. From the 80 multiple-choice questions, the mean of correct answers was 45.5, and of incorrect, 34.5.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that students can successfully learn with distance learning. It provides useful information for developing other Internet-based courses. The importance of this new tool for education in a large country like Brazil seems clear."