gms | German Medical Science

17. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2013: Teaching Medical Skills

4. - 6. April 2013, Wien, Österreich

Usage Behavior of students in a moodle online course called "case-based learning"


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17. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2013: Teaching medical skills. Wien, Österreich, 04.-06.04.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. DocP02

doi: 10.3205/13grako16, urn:nbn:de:0183-13grako165

Veröffentlicht: 29. November 2013

© 2013 Bernhardt-Melischnig.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



“Internet-based education permits learners to participate at a time and place convenient to them...” is one advantage of web-based learning described by David A. Cook in 2008. We tried to figure out, if our students really make use of this flexibility.

The Medical University Graz has a modular and integrative curriculum consisting of five-week modules. Additionally, the students have to attend a number of special study modules (called SSMs). Our special study module called “SSM47 – Casebased learning” is an online course and the source of the data collected by us. It consists of 138 WBTs covering the most important topics of medical education (the main topics were internal medicine, dermatology, pediatrics and ophthalmology as well as some minor fields).

In the winter semester 2010/2011 230 students completed this special study module. We recorded and exported all log-files from the entire course. About 39000 log-entries were saved in a database, then adjusted, filtered and converted. 216 students studied medicine, 14 others health-related studies. 124 were female and 106 male.

In these 21 weeks of the course the activities per week were between 587 and 4875 completed WBTs (mean 1862), or recalculated between 2,6 and 21,2 (mean 8,1) per student (SD 4,4). Significant differences between female and male students could not be detected. The students spread their work-load between one and 14 weeks (mean 4,2 weeks), between one and 14 weeks (mean 4,3) for female and between one and 12 (mean 4,0) for male students (see Figure 1 [Fig. 1]).

In the mean, students had 8,9 days of active working on WBTs (between 1 and 39) and completed in average 29,1 WBTs per day (between 5,1 and 142,0). In our analysis exactly three students did their full work-load in one single day. Another 15 students needed less than two days. The number of students who took more than a week time was 107, which is nearly half of our observed group of students (see Figure 2 [Fig. 2]).

Data and diagrams showed, that students took their chance to complete this virtual online course in a very flexible way. Their activities in this course changed constantly depending on the progress/status of other modules and lectures. Additionally, they invested a lot of time during holidays, suggesting they tried to catch up with unfinished work.