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JMIR Med Educ. 2015 Oct 1;1(2):e6.

Digital Literacy in the Medical Curriculum: A Course With Social Media Tools and Gamification.

Author information

1
Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary. berci@medicalfuturist.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The profession of practicing medicine is based on communication, and as social media and other digital technologies play a major role in today's communication, digital literacy must be included in the medical curriculum. The value of social media has been demonstrated several times in medicine and health care, therefore it is time to prepare medical students for the conditions they will have to face when they graduate.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of our study was to design a new e-learning-based curriculum and test it with medical students.

METHOD:

An elective course was designed to teach students how to use the Internet, with a special emphasis on social media. An e-learning platform was also made available and students could access material about using digital technologies on the online platforms they utilized the most. All students filled in online surveys before and after the course in order to provide feedback about the curriculum.

RESULTS:

Over a 3-year period, 932 students completed the course. The course did not increase the number of hours spent online but aimed at making that time more efficient and useful. Based on the responses of students, they found the information provided by the curriculum useful for their studies and future practices.

CONCLUSIONS:

A well-designed course, improved by constant evaluation-based feedback, can be suitable for preparing students for the massive use of the Internet, social media platforms, and digital technologies. New approaches must be applied in modern medical education in order to teach students new skills. Such curriculums that put emphasis on reaching students on the online channels they use in their studies and everyday lives introduce them to the world of empowered patients and prepare them to deal with the digital world.

KEYWORDS:

digital literacy; medical education; social media

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