Medical Student Use of Online Lectures: Exam Performance, Learning Styles, Achievement Motivation and Gender

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Content delivery in the basic science curriculum is increasingly accomplished by lectures delivered online. The factors which draw some students to use online resources more than others are beginning to be explored. This project examined the relationship between entering medical students‘ online lecture use, exam performance, learning styles, achievement motive and gender. We assessed learning style preference, using the VARK measure, and achievement motive, using the Achievement Motive Scale, then analyzed their online lecture use in our gross anatomy course. Exam scores for males were significantly higher than those of females and a gender effect was apparent (ANOVA) with male use higher than female. Students with higher scores for visual learning viewed lectures more than students with other preferences. There was an effect of Achievement Motive on lecture usage. Students highly motivated to achieve success are also more likely to use lectures. There was no difference in use between students with high or low motivation to avoid failure. Overall, there was a distinct temporal pattern of lecture use by day of the week or by time of day and differences between genders in use by days of the week. We also found a significant effect of success motivation on the temporal pattern of use. Findings of our study suggest a relationship between students' learning style, motivation and their online lecture use.

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