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Keywords:

  • embryology;
  • screencasts;
  • student learning;
  • lecture;
  • embryological knowledge;
  • medical education;
  • innovations

Abstract

Although podcasting has been a well used resource format in the last few years as a way of improving the student learning experience, the inclusion of enhanced audiovisual formats such as screencasts has been less used, despite the advantage that they work well for both visual and auditory learners. This study examines the use of and student reaction to a set of screencasts introduced to accompany embryology lectures within a second year module at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Five mini-lecture screencasts and one review quiz screencast were produced as digital recordings of computer screen output with audio narration and released to students via the managed learning environment (MLE). Analysis of server log information from the MLE showed that the screencasts were accessed by many of the students in the cohort, although the exact numbers were variable depending on the screencast. Students accessed screencasts at different times of the day and over the whole of the access period, although maximum downloads were predictably recorded leading up to the written examination. Quantitative and qualitative feedback demonstrated that most students viewed the screencasts favorably in terms of usefulness to their learning, and end-of-module written examination scores suggest that the screencasts may have had a positive effect on student outcome when compared with previous student attainment. Overall, the development of a series of embryology screencasts to accompany embryology lecture sessions appears to be a useful addition to learning for most students and not simply an innovation that checks the box of “technology engagement.” Anat Sci Educ 4: 57–63, 2011. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.