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Journal Description

JMIR Medical Education (JME) is a Pubmed-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. Another focus is on how to train health professionals in the use of digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal we have a special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (eg, open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees in the health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education, but in particular suggestions on how to improve medical education, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

A sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), a leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671), the scope of JME is broader and includes non-Internet approaches to improve education, training and assessment for medical professionals and allied health professions.

Articles published in JME will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central. JME is open access.


Recent Articles:

  • Learning Moment interface (montage). Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Novel Web-Based Experiential Learning Platform for Medical Students (Learning Moment): Qualitative Study


    Background: Experiential learning plays a critical role in learner development. Kolb’s 4-part experiential learning model consists of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation in a recurring cycle. Most clinical environments provide opportunities for experiences and active experimentation but rarely offer structured means for reflection and abstract conceptualization that are crucial for learners to learn through experience. We created Learning Moment, a novel Web-based educational tool that integrates principles of asynchronous learning and learning portfolios to fulfill the reflection and abstract conceptualization aspects of Kolb’s learning cycle in the modern clinical learning environment. Medical students log concise clinical “pearls” in the form of “learning moments” for reflection, review, and sharing with peers in a community of practice. Objective: We sought to evaluate learners’ experiences with Learning Moment via a qualitative study. Methods: We employed purposive sampling to recruit medical students who used Learning Moment during their rotation. We conducted 13 semistructured interviews (10 individual interviews and one 3-person group interview) between January and March 2017 using an ethnographic approach and utilized a general inductive method to analyze and code for potential themes. Results: A total of 13 students (five in their third year of medical school and eight in their fourth year) voluntarily participated in our qualitative interviews. Five of the 13 (38%) students intended to pursue emergency medicine as their chosen field of specialty. The median number of “learning moments” logged by these students is 6. From our analysis, three key themes emerged relating to the perceived impact of Learning Moment on student learning: (1) logging “learning moments” enhanced memorization, (2) improved learning through reflection, and (3) sharing of knowledge and experiences in a community of practice. Conclusions: Learning Moment was successfully implemented into the educational infrastructure in our department. Students identified three mechanisms by which the application optimizes experiential learning, including enabling the logging of “learning moments” to promote memorization, encouraging reflection to facilitate learning, and fostering the sharing of knowledge and experiences within a community of practice. The Learning Moment concept is potentially scalable to other departments, disciplines, and institutions as we seek to optimize experiential learning ecosystems for all trainees.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Pexels; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Enterprise Microblogging to Augment the Subinternship Clinical Learning Experience: A Proof-of-Concept Quality Improvement Study


    Background: Although the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) has created a core subinternship curriculum, the traditional experiential subinternship may not expose students to all topics. Furthermore, academic institutions often use multiple clinical training sites for the student clerkship experience. Objective: The objective of this study was to sustain a Web-based learning community across geographically disparate sites via enterprise microblogging to increase subintern exposure to the CDIM curriculum. Methods: Internal medicine subinterns used Yammer, a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)–secure enterprise microblogging platform, to post questions, images, and index conversations for searching. The subinterns were asked to submit 4 posts and participate in 4 discussions during their rotation. Faculty reinforced key points, answered questions, and monitored HIPAA compliance. Results: In total, 56 medical students rotated on an internal medicine subinternship from July 2014 to June 2016. Of them, 84% returned the postrotation survey. Over the first 3 months, 100% of CDIM curriculum topics were covered. Compared with the pilot year, the scale-up year demonstrated a significant increase in the number of students with >10 posts (scale-up year 49% vs pilot year 19%; P=.03) and perceived educational experience (58% scale-up year vs 14% pilot year; P=.006). Few students (6%) noted privacy concerns, but fewer students in the scale-up year found Yammer to be a safe learning environment. Conclusions: Supplementing the subinternship clinical experience with an enterprise microblogging platform increased subinternship exposure to required curricular topics and was well received. Future work should address concerns about safe learning environment.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: rawpixel; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Expanding Opportunities for Professional Development: Utilization of Twitter by Early Career Women in Academic Medicine and Science


    The number of women entering medical school and careers in science is increasing; however, women remain the minority of those in senior faculty and leadership positions. Barriers contributing to the shortage of women in academics and academic leadership are numerous, including a shortage of role models and mentors. Thus, achieving equity in a timelier manner will require more than encouraging women to pursue these fields of study or waiting long enough for those in the pipelines to be promoted. Social media provides new ways to connect and augments traditional forms of communication. These alternative avenues may allow women in academic medicine to obtain the support they are otherwise lacking. In this perspective, we reflect on the role of Twitter as a supplemental method for navigating the networks of academic medicine. The discussion includes the use of Twitter to obtain (1) access to role models, (2) peer-to-peer interactions, and continuous education, and (3) connections with those entering the pipeline—students, trainees, and mentees. This perspective also offers suggestions for developing a Twitter network. By participating in the “Twittersphere,” women in academic medicine may enhance personal and academic relationships that will assist in closing the gender divide.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Development of a Web-Based Formative Self-Assessment Tool for Physicians to Practice Breaking Bad News (BRADNET)


    Background: Although most physicians in medical settings have to deliver bad news, the skills of delivering bad news to patients have been given insufficient attention. Delivering bad news is a complex communication task that includes verbal and nonverbal skills, the ability to recognize and respond to patients’ emotions and the importance of considering the patient’s environment such as culture and social status. How bad news is delivered can have consequences that may affect patients, sometimes over the long term. Objective: This project aimed to develop a Web-based formative self-assessment tool for physicians to practice delivering bad news to minimize the deleterious effects of poor way of breaking bad news about a disease, whatever the disease. Methods: BReaking bAD NEws Tool (BRADNET) items were developed by reviewing existing protocols and recommendations for delivering bad news. We also examined instruments for assessing patient-physician communications and conducted semistructured interviews with patients and physicians. From this step, we selected specific themes and then pooled these themes before consensus was achieved on a good practices communication framework list. Items were then created from this list. To ensure that physicians found BRADNET acceptable, understandable, and relevant to their patients’ condition, the tool was refined by a working group of clinicians familiar with delivering bad news. The think-aloud approach was used to explore the impact of the items and messages and why and how these messages could change physicians’ relations with patients or how to deliver bad news. Finally, formative self-assessment sessions were constructed according to a double perspective of progression: a chronological progression of the disclosure of the bad news and the growing difficulty of items (difficulty concerning the expected level of self-reflection). Results: The good practices communication framework list comprised 70 specific issues related to breaking bad news pooled into 8 main domains: opening, preparing for the delivery of bad news, communication techniques, consultation content, attention, physician emotional management, shared decision making, and the relationship between the physician and the medical team. After constructing the items from this list, the items were extensively refined to make them more useful to the target audience, and one item was added. BRADNET contains 71 items, each including a question, response options, and a corresponding message, which were divided into 8 domains and assessed with 12 self-assessment sessions. The BRADNET Web-based platform was developed according to the cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Conclusions: The objective of this Web-based assessment tool was to create a “space” for reflection. It contained items leading to self-reflection and messages that introduced recommended communication behaviors. Our approach was innovative as it provided an inexpensive distance-learning self-assessment tool that was manageable and less time-consuming for physicians with often overwhelming schedules.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: StockSnap; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    How an Environment of Stress and Social Risk Shapes Student Engagement With Social Media as Potential Digital Learning Platforms: Qualitative Study


    Background: Social media has been increasingly used as a learning tool in medical education. Specifically, when joining university, students often go through a phase of adjustment, and they need to cope with various challenges such as leaving their families and friends and trying to fit into a new environment. Research has shown that social media helps students to connect with old friends and to establish new relationships. However, managing friendships on social media might intertwine with the new learning environment that shapes students’ online behaviors. Especially, when students perceive high levels of social risks when using social media, they may struggle to take advantage of the benefits that social media can provide for learning. Objective: This study aimed to develop a model that explores the drivers and inhibitors of student engagement with social media during their university adjustment phase. Methods: We used a qualitative method by interviewing 78 undergraduate students studying medical courses at UK research-focused universities. In addition, we interviewed 6 digital technology experts to provide additional insights into students’ learning behaviors on social media. Results: Students’ changing relationships and new academic environment in the university adjustment phase led to various factors that affected their social media engagement. The main drivers of social media engagement were maintaining existing relationships, building new relationships, and seeking academic support. Simultaneously, critical factors that inhibited the use of social media for learning emerged, namely, collapsed online identity, uncertain group norms, the desire to present an ideal self, and academic competition. These inhibitors led to student stress when managing their social media accounts, discouraged them from actively engaging on social media, and prevented the full exploitation of social media as an effective learning tool. Conclusions: This study identified important drivers and inhibitors for students to engage with social media platforms as learning tools. Although social media supported students to manage their relationships and support their learning, the interaction of critical factors, such as collapsed online identity, uncertain group norms, the desire to present an ideal self, and academic competition, caused psychological stress and impeded student engagement. Future research should explore how these inhibitors can be removed to reduce students’ stress and to increase the use of social media for learning. More specifically, such insights will allow students to take full advantage of being connected, thus facilitating a richer learning experience during their university life.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Teerawut Masawat; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Resident and Attending Physicians’ Perceptions of Patient Access to Provider Notes: Comparison of Perceptions Prior to Pilot Implementation


    Background: As electronic health records have become a more integral part of a physician’s daily life, new electronic health record tools will continue to be rolled out to trainees. Patient access to provider notes is becoming a more widespread practice because this has been shown to increase patient empowerment. Objective: In this analysis, we compared differences between resident and attending physicians’ perceptions prior to implementation of patient access to provider notes to facilitate optimal use of electronic health record features and as a potential for patient empowerment. Methods: This was a single-site study within an academic internal medicine program. Prior to implementation of patient access to provider notes, we surveyed resident and attending physicians to assess differences in perceptions of this new electronic health record tool using an open access survey provided by OpenNotes. Results: We surveyed 37% (20/54 total) of resident physicians and obtained a 100% response rate and 72% (31/44 total) of attending physicians. Similarities between the groups included concerns about documenting sensitive topics and anticipation of improved patient engagement. Compared with attending physicians, resident physicians were more concerned about litigation, discussing weight, offending patients, and communicated less overall with patients through electronic health record. Conclusions: Patient access to provider notes has the potential to empower patients but concerns of the resident physicians need to be validated and addressed prior to its utilization.

  • A medical student viewing the Human Body Block resource page of the CU School of Medicine Wiki (montage). Source: University of Colorado /; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Taking Constructivism One Step Further: Post Hoc Analysis of a Student-Created Wiki


    Background: Wiki platform use has potential to improve student learning by improving engagement with course material. A student-created wiki was established to serve as a repository of study tools for students in a medical school curriculum. There is a scarcity of information describing student-led creation of wikis in medical education. Objective: The aim is to characterize website traffic of a student-created wiki and evaluate student perceptions of usage via a short anonymous online survey. Methods: Website analytics were used to track visitation statistics to the wiki and a survey was distributed to assess ease of use, interest in contributing to the wiki, and suggestions for improvement. Results: Site traffic data indicated high usage, with a mean of 315 (SD 241) pageviews per day from July 2011 to March 2013 and 74,317 total user sessions. The mean session duration was 1.94 (SD 1.39) minutes. Comparing Fall 2011 to Fall 2012 sessions revealed a large increase in returning visitors (from 12,397 to 20,544, 65.7%) and sessions via mobile devices (831 to 1560, 87.7%). The survey received 164 responses; 88.0% (162/184) were aware of the wiki at the time of the survey. On average, respondents felt that the wiki was more useful in the preclinical years (mean 2.73, SD 1.25) than in the clinical years (mean 1.88, SD 1.12; P<.001). Perceived usefulness correlated with the percent of studying for which the respondent used electronic resources (Spearman ρ=.414, P<.001). Conclusions: Overall, the wiki was a highly utilized, although informal, part of the curriculum with much room for improvement and future exploration.

  • Medical student studying online material in radiology course. Source: UC Riverside School of Medicine; Copyright: UC Riverside School of Medicine; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    An Internet-Based Radiology Course in Medical School: Comparison of Academic Performance of Students on Campus Versus Those With Absenteeism Due to Residency...


    Background: Imaging and its optimal use are imperative to the practice of medicine, yet many students don’t receive a formal education in radiology. Concurrently, students look for ways to take time away from medical school for residency interviewing. Web-based instruction provides an opportunity to combine these imperatives using online modalities. Objective: A largely Web-based course in radiology during the 4th year of medical school was evaluated both for its acceptance to students who needed to be away from campus for interviews, and its effectiveness on a nationally administered standardized test. Methods: All students were placed into a structured program utilizing online videos, online modules, online textbook assignments, and live interactive online lectures. Over half of the course could be completed away from campus. The Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology test exam bank was used as a final exam to evaluate medical knowledge. Results: Positive student feedback included the freedom to travel for interviews, hands-on ultrasound training, interactive teaching sessions, and quality Web-based learning modules. Negative feedback included taking quizzes in-person, a perceived outdated online textbook, and physically shadowing hospital technicians. Most students elected to take the course during the interview months of October through January. The Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology final exam results (70.5%) were not significantly different than the national cohort (70%) who took the course in-person. Test scores from students taking the course during interview travel months were not significantly different from students who took the course before (P=.30) or after (P=.34) the interview season. Conclusions: Students desire to learn radiology and often choose to do so when they need to be away from campus during the fall of their 4th year of study to accomplish their residency interviews. Web-based education in radiology allows students’ interview traveling and radiology course objectives to be successfully met without adversely affecting the outcomes on a nationally normed examination in radiology. A curriculum that includes online content and live Web-based teleconference access to faculty can accomplish both imperatives.

  • Postgraduate medical e-learning. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Consensus on Quality Indicators of Postgraduate Medical E-Learning: Delphi Study


    Background: The progressive use of e-learning in postgraduate medical education calls for useful quality indicators. Many evaluation tools exist. However, these are diversely used and their empirical foundation is often lacking. Objective: We aimed to identify an empirically founded set of quality indicators to set the bar for “good enough” e-learning. Methods: We performed a Delphi procedure with a group of 13 international education experts and 10 experienced users of e-learning. The questionnaire started with 57 items. These items were the result of a previous literature review and focus group study performed with experts and users. Consensus was met when a rate of agreement of more than two-thirds was achieved. Results: In the first round, the participants accepted 37 items of the 57 as important, reached no consensus on 20, and added 15 new items. In the second round, we added the comments from the first round to the items on which there was no consensus and added the 15 new items. After this round, a total of 72 items were addressed and, of these, 37 items were accepted and 34 were rejected due to lack of consensus. Conclusions: This study produced a list of 37 items that can form the basis of an evaluation tool to evaluate postgraduate medical e-learning. This is, to our knowledge, the first time that quality indicators for postgraduate medical e-learning have been defined and validated. The next step is to create and validate an e-learning evaluation tool from these items.

  • Surgical knot tying. Source: US Air Force; Copyright: Benjamin Silva; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Instructional Video and Medical Student Surgical Knot-Tying Proficiency: Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Many senior medical students lack simple surgical and procedural skills such as knot tying. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether viewing a Web-based expert knot-tying training video, in addition to the standard third-year medical student curriculum, will result in more proficient surgical knot tying. Methods: At the start of their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, 45 students were videotaped tying surgical knots for 2 minutes using a board model. Two blinded female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery physicians evaluated proficiency with a standard checklist (score range 0-16) and anchored scoring scale (range 0-20); higher numbers represent better skill. Students were then randomized to either (1) expert video (n=26) or (2) nonvideo (n=24) groups. The video group was provided unlimited access to an expert knot-tying instructional video. At the completion of the clerkship, students were again videotaped and evaluated. Results: At initial evaluation, preclerkship cumulative scores (range 0-36) on the standard checklist and anchored scale were not significantly different between the nonvideo and video groups (mean 20.3, SD 7.1 vs mean 20.2, SD 9.2, P=.90, respectively). Postclerkship scores improved in both the nonvideo and video groups (mean 28.4, SD 5.4, P<.001 and mean 28.7, SD 6.5, P=.004, respectively). Increased knot board practice was significantly correlated with higher postclerkship scores on the knot-tying task, but only in the video group (r=.47, P<.05). Conclusions: The addition of a Web-based expert instructional video to a standard curriculum, coupled with knot board practice, appears to have a positive impact on medical student knot-tying proficiency.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: DFID; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Jordan Field Epidemiology Training Program: Critical Role in National and Regional Capacity Building


    Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) are 2-year training programs in applied epidemiology, established with the purpose of increasing a country’s capacity within the public health workforce to detect and respond to health threats and develop internal expertise in field epidemiology. The Jordan Ministry of Health, in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, started the Jordan FETP (J-FETP) in 1998. Since then, it has achieved a high standard of success and has been established as a model for FETPs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Here we describe the J-FETP, its role in building the epidemiologic capacity of Jordan’s public health workforce, and its activities and achievements, which have grown the program to be self-sustaining within the Jordan Ministry of Health. Since its inception, the program’s residents and graduates have assisted the country to improve its surveillance systems, including revising the mortality surveillance policy, implementing the use of electronic data reporting, investigating outbreaks at national and regional levels, contributing to noncommunicable disease research and surveillance, and responding to regional emergencies and disasters. J-FETP’s structure and systems of support from the Jordan Ministry of Health and local, regional, and international partners have contributed to the success and sustainability of the J-FETP. The J-FETP has contributed significantly to improvements in surveillance systems, control of infectious diseases, outbreak investigations, and availability of reliable morbidity and mortality data in Jordan. Moreover, the program has supported public health and epidemiology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Best practices of the J-FETP can be applied to FETPs throughout the world.

  • A researcher examining how online lectures have been integrated into medical school curricula (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Online Lectures in Undergraduate Medical Education: Scoping Review


    Background: The adoption of the flipped classroom in undergraduate medical education calls on students to learn from various self-paced tools—including online lectures—before attending in-class sessions. Hence, the design of online lectures merits special attention, given that applying multimedia design principles has been shown to enhance learning outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to understand how online lectures have been integrated into medical school curricula, and whether published literature employs well-accepted principles of multimedia design. Methods: This scoping review followed the methodology outlined by Arksey and O'Malley (2005). Databases, including MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Education Source, FRANCIS, ERIC, and ProQuest, were searched to find articles from 2006 to 2016 related to online lecture use in undergraduate medical education. Results: In total, 45 articles met our inclusion criteria. Online lectures were used in preclinical and clinical years, covering basic sciences, clinical medicine, and clinical skills. The use of multimedia design principles was seldom reported. Almost all studies described high student satisfaction and improvement on knowledge tests following online lecture use. Conclusions: Integration of online lectures into undergraduate medical education is well-received by students and appears to improve learning outcomes. Future studies should apply established multimedia design principles to the development of online lectures to maximize their educational potential.

Citing this Article

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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:

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  • Thrombolysis For Early Post Renal Transplant Myocardial Infarction – A Case Report

    Date Submitted: Oct 3, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Oct 6, 2018 - Dec 1, 2018

    Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and is now the leading cause of death in patients with renal transplants. We report a case of acute myocardial infarction three weeks...

    Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and is now the leading cause of death in patients with renal transplants. We report a case of acute myocardial infarction three weeks post renal transplant. Case Report: A 45 year old male renal transplant renal transplant recipient presented three weeks post-transplant with acute chest pain, hypotension and atrial fibrillation. He was found to have Infero-posterior wall myocardial infarction. He was thrombolysed with Tenectaplase, and developed a perinephric hematoma six hours later. He underwent transfusions and pigtail drainage of the hematoma. The hematoma resolved, and he was started on dual anti-platelets with stable renal function. Conclusion: Thrombolysis in the early post-transplant period is considered a very high risk procedure. Our case illustrates the use of the thrombolytic therapy in the early post transplant period and successful management of the attendant complications.

  • Augmenting Flexnerism via Twitterism: Need for Integrating Social Media Application in Blueprinting Pedagogical Strategies for Undergraduate Medical Education

    Date Submitted: Oct 3, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Oct 6, 2018 - Dec 1, 2018

    Background: The involvedness of 21st century healthcare requires re-thinking of current (medical) educational paradigms. In this “Millennial Era” to promulgate the tenets of Flexnerism in undergra...

    Background: The involvedness of 21st century healthcare requires re-thinking of current (medical) educational paradigms. In this “Millennial Era” to promulgate the tenets of Flexnerism in undergraduate medical education (UME), requires the design and blueprinting of innovative pedagogical strategies, because the targeted learners are millennials and can be designated as Generation-Y medical students (GYMS). Objective: In this proof-of-concept study, we aimed to identify the specific social media application (SMA) platforms that are selectively preferred by GYMS in UME. Further, we wanted to explore if these preferred SMA can be used to design an effective pedagogical strategy to disseminate course learning objectives in the preclinical phase of a spiral curriculum. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted by distributing a 17-item questionnaire among the first and second year medical students in the preclinical phase at MBRU. Results: The study identified YouTube and WhatsApp as the SMA platforms preferred by GYMS in UME. Further, the study also alluded to the differences in terms of use of SMA in medical education between female and male GYMS, which we believe will assist instructors in designing pedagogical strategies integrating SMA. Additionally, we also appraised the insight of GYMS on the implementation of SMA in medical education. The pedagogical strategy designed employing SMA and implemented in the Biochemistry course, was well accepted by GYMS, and can be translated to any course in the pre-clinical phase of the medical curriculum. Moreover, the identified limitations of this study provide an understanding with regards to the gaps in research, existing towards to the integration of SMA in a medical curriculum catering to GYMS. Conclusions: Hence, 21st century medical education requires the effective use of SMA platforms to augment competency based medical education i.e. augmentation of Flexnerism in the current scenario is possible only by the adaptation of Twitterism.

  • What are the benefits of teaching medical students computer coding?

    Date Submitted: Sep 26, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 30, 2018 - Nov 25, 2018

    Background: The ability to construct simple computer programs ("coding") is being progressively recognised as a life skill. Coding is now being taught to primary-school children world-wide, but curre...

    Background: The ability to construct simple computer programs ("coding") is being progressively recognised as a life skill. Coding is now being taught to primary-school children world-wide, but current medical students usually lack coding skills, and current measures of computer literacy for medical students focus on the use of software and internet safety. There is a need to train a cohort of doctors who can both practice medicine and also engage in the development of useful, innovative technologies to increase efficiency and adapt to the modern medical world. Objective: The aim of the study was to address the following questions: 1) Is it possible to teach undergraduate medical students the basics of computer coding in a weekend? 2) How do students perceive the value of learning computer coding at medical school? 3) Do students see computer coding as an important skill for future doctors? Methods: We developed a 2-day coding course to teach self-selected cohorts of medical students basic coding. The course included a practical introduction to writing software, discussion of computational thinking, and how to discuss projects with mainstream computer scientists. We explored in focus groups whether students thought that coding has a place in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Results: Our results demonstrate that medical students who were complete novices at coding could be taught enough to be able to create simple usable clinical programs with 2 days of intensive teaching. In addition, 6 major themes emerged from the focus group 1) Making sense of coding 2) Developing the students’ skillset 3) The value of coding in medicine, research and business 4) Role of teaching coding in medical school 5) The concept of an enjoyable challenge 6) Comments on the course design Conclusions: Medical students can acquire usable coding skills in a weekend course. They valued the teaching and identified that, as well as gaining coding skills, they had acquired an understanding of its potential both for their own projects and in healthcare delivery and research. They identified that learning to code was different from digital literacy and considered that coding skills teaching should be offered as an optional part of the medical curriculum.

  • Cyberincivility in the Massive Open Online Course Learning Environment

    Date Submitted: Sep 8, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 13, 2018 - Nov 8, 2018

    Background: Cyberincivility is a pervasive issue that demands upfront thinking. It can negatively impact one’s personal, professional, social, and educational well-being. Although massive open onlin...

    Background: Cyberincivility is a pervasive issue that demands upfront thinking. It can negatively impact one’s personal, professional, social, and educational well-being. Although massive open online courses (MOOCs) environments could be vulnerable to undesirable acts of incivility among students, no study has explored the phenomena of cyberincivility in this learning environment, particularly in a health-related course in which mostly current or eventual health professions students enroll. Objective: This study analyzed the characteristics of text entries posted by students enrolled in a medicine and healthcare MOOC. The objectives were to examine the prevalence of posts deemed disrespectful, insensitive or disruptive, and incondusive to learning and to describe the patterns and types of uncivil posts. Our aims are to point to aspects that could be useful for MOOC designers and educators to build a culture of cybercivility in the MOOC environment. Methods: The data used in this research came from postings in the discussion forums from the MOOC Medical Neuroscience created by a large private university in the southeast region of the United States. The data were collected on May 9, 2017. Out of 21,101 posts in the dataset, 8,705 were analyzed after excluding 12,396 posts (58.7%) that contained truncated or contained gibberish data. An iterative process of coding, discussion, and revision was carried out to develop a series of a priori codes. Data management and analysis were performed with NVivo 12. Results: A total of 19 a priori codes were retained from the 25 initially developed, and three themes emerged from the data: Annoyance, Disruption, and Aggression. Of the 8,705 posts included in the analysis, 7,333 (84.2%) were considered as absence of uncivil posts, 1,043 (12.0%) as presence of uncivil posts, and 329 (3.8%) were treated as uncodable. Of the 1,043 uncivil posts analyzed, 466 were coded to more than one a priori code, which resulted in 1,509 instances. Of those 1,509 instances, 826 fell into “annoyance” (54.7%), 648 into “disruption” (42.9%), and 35 posts into “aggression” (2.3%). Of the 466 posts that related to more than one a priori code, 380 were attributed to two or three themes. Of those 380 posts, 352 (92.6%) overlapped both “annoyance” and “disruption,” 13 (3.4%) overlapped both “disruption” and “aggression,” 9 (2.4%) overlapped “annoyance” and “aggression,” while 6 (1.6%) intersected all three themes. Conclusions: This study reported on the phenomena of cyberincivility in the health-related MOOC toward the education of future healthcare professionals. Despite the general view that discussion forums are a staple of the MOOC delivery system, students cite discussion forums as a source of frustration for their potential to contain uncivil posts. Therefore, MOOC developers and instructors should consider ways to maintain a civil discourse within discussion forums.