• dermatology;
  • digital self-learning modules;
  • information technology


Background  Dermatological diseases are one of the most common problems in outpatient departments. Dermatology teaching unfortunately is facing two major issues: (i) a shortage of trained faculty and (ii) inadequate teaching time. Various methods utilizing modern information technology have been studied to overcome these problems.

Objectives  We attempted to evaluate the use of a digital self-learning module in the teaching of dermatology.

Methods  We created digital modules of dermatology topics, which included power-point presentations, instructive videos demonstrating signs in dermatological examination, interactive quizzes and images. The module was pilot tested on 48 third semester students, each posted for 2 weeks in dermatology. Evaluation was performed using a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire for the students. Actual knowledge acquisition was evaluated using a post-test with two components: section A comprising questions from the sections covered by the digital module and a section B comprising questions from topics taught only in the conventional method.

Results  The questionnaire analysis revealed that a majority of the students were comfortable using the module and felt that it encouraged them towards further in-depth self-learning on the concerned topics. The results from the post-test were compared between the test and control sections, using the Student’s t-test, which gave a P-value of 0.084 (5% significance level) suggesting that the difference was not significant.

Conclusion  To conclude, we would like to suggest that the use of a ‘play area’ like concept coupled with an interactive information technology-based self-learning module might improve dermatology teaching.