Computer-based teaching is as good as face to face lecture-based teaching of evidence based medicine: a randomized controlled trial

Med Teach. 2008;30(3):302-7. doi: 10.1080/01421590701784349.


Background: Assessing in undergraduate medical education the educational effectiveness of a short computer-based session, integrating a lecturer's video with a standardized structure, for evidence based medicine (EBM) teaching, compared to a lecture-based teaching session of similar structure and duration.

Method: A concealed, randomized controlled trial of computer based session versus lecture of equal duration (40 minutes) and identical content in EBM and systematic reviews. The study was based at the Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK involving one hundred and seventynine year one medical students. The main outcome measures were change from pre to post-intervention score measured using a validated questionnaire assessing knowledge (primary outcome) and attitudes (secondary outcome).

Results: Participants' improvement in knowledge in the computer based group was equivalent to the lecture based group (gain in score: 0.8 [S.D = 3.2] versus 1.3 [S.D = 2.4]; p = 0.24). Attitudinal gains were similar in both groups.

Conclusion: Computer based teaching and typical lecture sessions have similar educational gains.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction* / methods
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Technology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / standards*
  • United Kingdom