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Whatsapp enhances Medical education: Is it the future?

Mohanakrishnan K1, Nithyalakshmi Jayakumar1, Kasthuri A2, Sowmya Nasimuddin1, Jeevan Malaiyan1, Sumathi G1.


Background: Whatsapp, launched in the year 2009, has exploded to 400 million active users each month.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of Whatsapp to enhance medical education in Indian medical school and also investigate the impact of Whatsapp messenger in their curriculum from the perspective of students.

Materials and Methods: The study population included 100 students from the second phase of Sri Muthukumaran Medical College Hospital and Research Institute (SMMCHRI). An experimental study was planned by dividing them into two groups by simple random sampling. Experimental model (Study-group) were primed through Whatsapp before the session, while the comparison group (Control-group) comprised of 50 students, who were allowed to attend the lecture without prior exposure to the session. To assess the effect of Whatsapp intervention, a multiple choice post-test was conducted using 10 MCQs pertaining to the topic and a questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey assessing their perception was conducted among the Study-group students immediately after the session.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference between Study-group and Control-group students with a p-value less than 0.001. Study-group perceived the new format to be effective than traditional format which was evident by the increase in Likert scale response values.

Conclusion: Students are favorably inclined to use the Whatsapp and welcome its role in enhancing their learning experience. Since we observed that it was successful in providing an interactive environment during lecture, we propose that this methodology can be used to enhance student’s learning.

Key words: Whatsapp, Interactive lecture, Medical students, Medical education & Student perception

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