Office of Health Promotion Research
Callas PW, Bertsch TF, Caputo MP, Flynn BS, Doheny-Farina S, Ricci MA. Medical student evaluations of lectures attended in person or from rural sites via interactive videoconferencing. Teach Learn Med. 2004 Winter;16(1):46-50.
BACKGROUND: Interactive videoconferencing may be an effective way for medical students on remote rotations to attend teaching sessions at the main campus. PURPOSE: To compare medical student evaluations of lectures for those attending in person and those attending through interactive videoconferencing. METHODS: Lecture evaluations were completed by medical students on University of Vermont College of Medicine clinical clerkship rotations. Students on clerkships at rural sites attended lectures using our telemedicine network. Responses from in-person and remote attendees were compared. RESULTS: Evaluation forms for 110 lectures were received from 648 in-person and 255 remote attendees. All evaluation items were rated "good" or "excellent" by at least 95% of in-person attendees. Over 90% of remote attendees rated nontelemedicine evaluation items, such as appropriateness of lecture topic for students, as good or excellent. Ratings of telemedicine-specific questions, such as ability to hear the lecturer, were lower. CONCLUSIONS: Level of satisfaction was high for most aspects of remote lecture attendance, although not quite as high as for in-person attendance. Improved technical reliability would likely increase remote attendee satisfaction. Overall, lecture attendance using videoconferencing was found to be an acceptable alternative to travel for medical students in rural clerkships.
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