Background: Medical education is continually evolving particularly through the modern implementation of educational technology. Enhancing interactive learning in the classroom or lecture settings is one of the growing uses of educational technology. The role and potential benefits of such technology may not be as evident in developing educational systems like the one in Iraq. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect and perception of the use of an audience response system (ARS) on interactive medical education in Iraq. A mixed quantitative and qualitative research methodology approach was used to study the effects and users' perceptions (both student and tutor) of the ARS.
Method: The study was conducted in an Iraqi medical school in the Head and Neck course during the spring semester for third-year medical students. The course involved fifteen one-hour lectures over fifteen weeks. Users' perceptions were evaluated by survey and focus group discussions (FGD). Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative measures and thematic analysis for the qualitative data. An ARS system was installed and integrated into the course lectures throughout the course period of three months to enhance interactive learning. Three to five interactive questions were used in each lecture. Anonymous participation and answers were maintained. The appropriate discussion was initiated when pertinent depending on students' answers.
Result: Most students (77% of survey, 85% of FGD) perceived the use of ARS as impactful on their learning. They found the ARS engaging (70%), motivating (76%), promoting interactions (73%), and augment learning through better understanding and remembering (81%). Through the FGD, students expressed improved focus, enhanced thinking and reflection, and joyful learning. The educator perceived the ARS use as practical, interactive, thinking-stimulator, and reflective of student's understanding. The required technology skills were reasonable; however, it demanded extra non-insignificant time to learn the use.
Conclusion: The perception of the ARS in this study was overall positive, providing encouragement for wide application of this technology in medical education in the developing world. Further studies are needed to validate and prioritize ARS usage in medical education in Iraq.
- Education, Medical
- Educational Measurement/methods
- Schools, Medical
- Students, Medical
- Educational Technology
- Educational Measurement
- Surveys and Questionnaires
ASJC Scopus subject areas