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Med Teach. 2011;33(8):e429-34. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.586749.

Use of social media in graduate-level medical humanities education: two pilot studies from Penn State College of Medicine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Humanities, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, USA. drg21@psu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social media strategies in education have gained attention for undergraduate students, but there has been relatively little application with graduate populations in medicine.

AIMS:

To use and evaluate the integration of new social media tools into the curricula of two graduate-level medical humanities electives offered to 4th-year students at Penn State College of Medicine.

METHODS:

Instructors selected five social media tools--Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, blogging and Skype--to promote student learning. At the conclusion of each course, students provided quantitative and qualitative course evaluation.

RESULTS:

Students gave high favourability ratings to both courses, and expressed that the integration of social media into coursework augmented learning and collaboration. Others identified challenges including: demands on time, concerns about privacy and lack of facility with technology. Integrating social media tools into class activities appeared to offer manifold benefits over traditional classroom methods, including real-time communication outside of the classroom, connecting with medical experts, collaborative opportunities and enhanced creativity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Social media can augment learning opportunities within humanities curriculum in medical schools, and help students acquire tools and skill-sets for problem solving, networking, and collaboration. Command of technologies will be increasingly important to the practice of medicine in the twenty-first century.

PMID:
21774639
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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