Tutors' perceptions of use of tablet computers in PBL sessions

Maria Sundvik, Teemu Masalin, Heikki Hervonen
2016 MedEdPublish  
New mobile technologies have reached the classrooms and are opening new possibilities but also setting new demands to the teaching personnel. We studied tutors' attitudes, perceptions and experiences on the use of tablet computers in preclinical problem-based learning (PBL) sessions by using a mixed method with questionnaire and interviews. The main finding was that both the students and the tutors used tablet computers in diverse ways. The basic structure of PBL sessions was not disrupted, but
more » ... not disrupted, but the teachers observed device-induced changes in the group dynamics. Information retrieval and checking was faster than before. Collaboration between the students increased, when digital whiteboard application on the tablet computer was used in brainstorming, and at the same time, the role of secretary was diminished. Adverse incidents were few and mainly technical in nature. To summarize, the new era with mobile technology is here to stay and both tutors and students embrace it. Tablet computers and their predecessors, personal digital assistants (PDA), have been used in both clinical practice and medical teaching successfully (Davies et al., 2012; Luanrattana, Win, Fulcher, & Iverson, 2012; Treadwell, 2006) . These devices operate in mainly four fields: clinical-log, reference, communication and personal information management (Luanrattana et al., 2012) . With the advance of mobile technology and especially the invasion of smartphones and tablet computers during the last decade, many medical schools have incorporated these devices into the medical curriculum (George et al., 2013) . This technology offers wireless and flexible access to large amount of medical information worldwide and offer also the possibility to carry around a large amount of information in the form of digital notes, textbooks videos, etc. Sundvik M, Masalin T, Hervonen H MedEdPublish http://dx.
doi:10.15694/mep.2016.000032 fatcat:rlergqnnzjet7fq5fgf75omvd4