Smartphone-based evaluations of clinical placements-a useful complement to web-based evaluation tools

J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2015 Nov 30;12:55. doi: 10.3352/jeehp.2015.12.55. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Purpose: Web-based questionnaires are currently the standard method for course evaluations. The high rate of smartphone adoption in Sweden makes possible a range of new uses, including course evaluation. This study examines the potential advantages and disadvantages of using a smartphone app as a complement to web-based course evaluationsystems.

Methods: An iPhone app for course evaluations was developed and interfaced to an existing web-based tool. Evaluations submitted using the app were compared with those submitted using the web between August 2012 and June 2013, at the Faculty of Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Results: At the time of the study, 49% of the students were judged to own iPhones. Over the course of the study, 3,340 evaluations were submitted, of which 22.8% were submitted using the app. The median of mean scores in the submitted evaluations was 4.50 for the app (with an interquartile range of 3.70-5.20) and 4.60 (3.70-5.20) for the web (P=0.24). The proportion of evaluations that included a free-text comment was 50.5% for the app and 49.9% for the web (P=0.80).

Conclusion: An app introduced as a complement to a web-based course evaluation system met with rapid adoption. We found no difference in the frequency of free-text comments or in the evaluation scores. Apps appear to be promising tools for course evaluations. web-based course evaluation system met with rapid adoption. We found no difference in the frequency of free-text comments or in the evaluation scores. Apps appear to be promising tools for course evaluations.

Keywords: Clinical education; Course evaluation; Education evaluation; Smartphone based tools.