PubMed Instruction: Classroom vs. Online Instruction
I meant to blog about this earlier when I made the post about the reviw of Zotero, Skype, and PBWiki, but I got side tracked. So better late than never.
Do you teach a lot of PubMed classes? If so you might be interested in the recent article, Measuring Medical Student Preference: A Comparison of Classroom Versus Online Instruction for Teaching Pubmed published in the Journal of the Medical Library Association. 2008 July; 96(3): 217–222. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.96.3.007.
The author, Laura Schimming decided to compare medical students' satisfaction with PubMed instruction taught in the classroom with an online tutorial. She found that students were more satisfied with online tutorials and the students who took the online tutorial passed the PubMed skills assessment at the same high rate as students who learned PubMed in the classroom.
I think it is interesting to know that the librarian used Dreamweaver instead of Camtasia or Captivate to create the online tutorial. The online tutorial was a split screen tutorial where the instructions and information was at the top and PubMed was below. This allowed users to read the information while actually practicing on a live PubMed session. It truly was more of a hands on tutorial.
So what does this mean for librarians who teach PubMed? I think it gives librarians more options and flexibility. Having an online tutorial for students to use can free up the librarian to teach other classes that may not lend themselves as easily to an online tutorial format. It also allows students to take the online class on their own time. An additional benefit is that unlike a traditional classroom the tutorial is available to use again should they need a refresher. No wonder the students preferred the online method.