The Impact of Writing on Academic Performance for Medical Students
Background Since the 1970s, writing has been widely used in classroom settings. Writing enhances learning, but there are limited studies that prove its effectiveness, especially in the medical education setting. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to investigate the effect of writing on medical students' academic performance. Methods An experiment was conducted with 139 medical students from Seoul National University College of Medicine. They were randomly assigned to three different
... ree different groups: self-study (SS), expository writing (EW), and argumentative writing (AW) group. Each group studied the given material by the method they were assigned, and they were tested on their understanding and transfer of knowledge. We also tested students' higher-order thinking ability using Remote Association Test (RAT). Results The results showed that the writing groups displayed better performance than the SS group in transfer type items, while there was no difference in scores between the EW and AW group. The three groups did not show any difference in rote-memory type items, but RAT scores have a positive correlation with rote-memory scores. Conclusions This study provides empirical evidence for writing to be adopted in classrooms for greater educational benefits, especially in medical education. These findings indicate that writing can enhance learning and higher-order thinking, which are critical for medical students.