Howe LM, Boothe HW Jr, Hartsfield SM. Student assessment of the educational benefits of using a CD-ROM for instruction of basic surgical skills. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2005;32(1):138-43

PMID: 15834834


At Texas A&M University, introductory-level surgical lecture and laboratory notes were converted to a CD-ROM format that included illustrative photographs as well as instructional videos demonstrating the basic surgical skills that all students were required to master. The CD-ROM was distributed to all students in place of traditional paper notes in the second-year surgical class in the professional veterinary curriculum. The study reported here was designed to evaluate the educational benefits of the use of the CD-ROM in place of traditional paper notes by examining the attitudes and practices of students before and after exposure to the CD-ROM format.
An anonymous survey was distributed to students in the second-year introductory surgery course on the first day of class and again on the last day of class. Responses to questions were tabulated, response frequencies determined, and Chi-square analysis performed to determine differences between initial and final responses.
On the final survey, 89 per cent of students responded that the instructional videos definitely helped them prepare for the laboratory, and 77 per cent responded that they were more likely to practice techniques learned from the CD-ROM videos than those learned from traditional study materials. The majority of students believed that the CD-ROM improved both the course (60 per cent) and their learning experience (62 per cent) as compared to traditional paper notes.
Including instructional videos on the CD-ROM enhanced the educational experience of the students by promoting preparedness for laboratories and promoting practice of techniques learned from the videos outside of the laboratory.