Use of Social Media Tool “Whatsapp” in Medical Education
Keywords:WhatsApp, medical education, smartphones.
We are living in an era of technology where smart phones and hence social media has entered into many aspects of our life. Many professions are using social media to improve communication between colleagues. Social media tools are gaining attention in medical education as well.
Objective: To explore the potential of WhatsApp as an instructional strategy for 4th Year MBBS students in Ophthalmology.
Methods: We made two groups of students on WhatsApp one for males and one for females. Topic of lecture, relevant images of taught topic and MCQs and SEQs were shared in both groups and students were encouraged to ask questions if they had any. After ten lectures the students were asked to give their feedback on our activity of WhatsApp group on an anonymous questionnaire.
Results: Two hundred and thirty four students, 145 (62.0%) female and 86 (36.8%) males students filled in the anonymous questionnaire. One hundred and eighty nine students (88.77%) were using social media to learn medicine while 45 students (19.23%) were not. Sixty seven students (29.39%) were using both WhatsApp and Facebook, 65 students (28.51%) were using Facebook, 57 students (25%) were using WhatsApp. Sixty percent of students were using social media once or more than twice a day. Eighty eight (63.8%) female students and 66 (77.7%) male students ranked this activity as high or above. To the open ended question we got appreciative comments and some suggestion.
Conclusion: WhatsApp is an effective social media tool to motivate, augmentand perhaps improve the learning of undergraduates in addition to traditional teaching.
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