Use of Blogging in Medical Education

In a recent study the authors compared reflective writing produced either by an electronic (blog) format or a traditional written (essay). Students during their internal medicine clerkship participated in this study. The reflective essay was followed by a faculty moderated small group discussion. In the other condition the students had to post two writings to a faculty moderated group blog and provide at least one comment on a peer’s post.

Student writing addressed seven main themes: (i) being humanistic; (ii) professional behaviour; (iii) understanding caregiving relationships; (iv) being a student; (v) clinical learning; (vi) dealing with death and dying, and (vii) the health care system, quality, safety and public health.

There was no significant difference between groups in levels of reflection or themes addressed. Those who had used blogs before preferred using a blog and those not used to writing posts online preferred the traditional essay.

Useful study because academic medical centers may adopt new learning technologies with little data on their effectiveness or on how they compare with traditional methodologies. What do you think?

ResearchBlogging.org
Fischer, M., Haley, H., Saarinen, C., & Chretien, K. (2011). Comparison of blogged and written reflections in two medicine clerkships Medical Education, 45 (2), 166-175 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03814.x