Introduction: While most medical school curriculums use traditional classroom-based didactics, many students elect to supplement their medical education with online “inked” videos in which the teaching happens via an animated virtual blackboard. One perceived advantage of inked videos is that their utilization of dynamic animations allows them to be more expeditious, providing a more efficient learning method. However, there is limited objective evidence supporting this method of online learning. With many medical schools considering incorporating more online teaching into their curriculums, it is worth investigating the efficacy of these online inked videos in medical education.
Objective: The goal of this project is to compare the efficiency of online inked videos with traditional recorded PowerPoint lectures in the context of teaching pathology to medical students in their preclinical years.
Methods: A randomized, crossover-design study was conducted with second-year medical students at the David Geffen School of Medicine (n=22). Students first received a lesson on paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) in either a shorter inked video format or a longer recorded PowerPoint format. Then, students received a lesson on diastolic murmurs in the alternative format. The same verbal script was used for both lessons. Acquisition of knowledge was assessed using multiple choice questions in both an immediate post-test administered directly after watching the videos and a delayed post-test administered approximately one week later. Students also reported their level of satisfaction with the two teaching methods in a perceptions survey.
Results: While the recorded PowerPoint lectures were 26-44% longer than the inked videos, there was no statistically significant difference between the test performances on lessons taught via inked video or PowerPoint lecture. Students reported greater engagement and satisfaction with learning for the online inked videos when compared to the recorded PowerPoint lectures.
Conclusions: This study, although limited by its small-scale and single-institution design, provides preliminary evidence that online inked videos can be a more efficient and non-inferior alternative to recorded PowerPoint lectures.