اUse of Self‑Study Resources Among Medical Students—Towards Avoiding Death by PowerPoint
Abstract Reliance on PowerPoint (PPT) slides for self-studying may encourage lower-order cognition due to learning by rote dominating the educational process. On anecdotal evidence, PPT slides have become ubiquitous among Saudi medical students as the chief format of self-study material. We present the scale of the problem in Saudi medical colleges and then discuss the relevant potential implications and remedies. Using a piloted, face-validated, web-based, and self-administered questionnaire, we asked 379 medical students from 22 Saudi medical colleges to answer a few questions related to the use of PPT slides (and other resources) to self-study in preparation for the pediatric course fnal exam. By far, PPT slides represented the dominant format of self-study resources for most students (n=359; 94.7%). One-third of students (n=115; 30.3%) reported they had never or only rarely to occasionally used their basic pediatric textbooks for self-study. Most students (n=260; 68.6%) reported that>80% of the fnal written exam questions stemmed from the PPT slides provided by lecturers. As this study’s result underscores the notion that PPT slides have become the customary primary self-study material used by Saudi medical students, we tried to discuss the associated threats to learning and teaching and suggest practical solutions.
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