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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-17

High Internet awareness and proficiency among medical undergraduates in Nigeria: A likely tool to enhance e-learning/instruction in Internal Medicine


1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku Ozalla Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Ituku Ozalla Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christian I Okafor
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku Ozalla Campus, Enugu
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_1_19

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Background/Objective: The emergence of the Internet several decades ago has brought global revolution in a lot of processes even among developing nations, including educational processes. We assessed the familiarity of the medical students with Internet tools and their preparedness with integrating e-learning into Internal Medicine teaching methods. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of two graduating medical classes of College of Medicine, using structured self-administered questionnaire, was carried out. The survey assessed the knowledge, utility, and application of Internet tools in medical education using five-point Likert scale. Results: A total of 227 (75%) of the cohort of 292 students responded, comprising 150 (66.1%) males and 77 (33.9%) females. The median age was 24 years (Interquartile range, 23–26 years). Of these, 219 (96.5%) owned Internet-enabled devices, whereas 104 (46.2%) had formal training on the use of computers. Two hundred and twenty-two (97.8%) could access the Internet, with Google and Twitter accounts being the highest and the least used tools, respectively. Two hundred and twenty five (99%; mean rating 4.5 on a scale of 5) indicated that Internet tools were useful in teaching Internal Medicine, specifically in the areas of lectures, assignments, and interaction with experts globally. The key benefits were utility as a regular self-assessment tool and flexible learning schedule (mean rating, 4.0, respectively). Overall, 213 (93.8%) suggested that the use of Internet tools and e-learning should be incorporated into the traditional method of teaching. Challenges with its use included cost of accessing the Internet (n = 126; 55.5%), lack of facility with adequate technology (n = 115; 50.7%), and availability of Internet (n = 96; 42.3%). Conclusion: Undergraduate medical students in our setting are familiar with the Internet and its potential utility for learning and undergraduate teaching of Internal Medicine.


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