Evaluation of the Long-Term Impact of a Curriculum-Integrated Medical Information Literacy Program
Keywords:Information literacy, program evaluation, skills retention, medical students, undegraduate medical education
Introduction: Medical libraries have long provided educational programs to support evidence-based practice. Medical students at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, participate in a curriculum-integrated information literacy program during the first two years of medical school. Do they retain, improve, or forget the skills? Do they continue to use the library resources during clerkship? Did they encounter barriers to prevent them from using the resources?
Methods: A short survey was administered to 99 students at the end of medical school. The survey included questions about medical students’ attitudes and behaviours, their use of information resources, and their medical information literacy knowledge. Some of the knowledge questions were compared to pre- and post-tests that the same class completed in first year. Results: Fifty-three students completed the survey. The students rated their abilities very highly but there was only a weak positive relationship with the knowledge scores. Information resources were well used, both for clinical questions and to complete the mini-scholar exercises.
Discussion: Medical students feel better prepared to answer clinical questions and their skills improved or remained the same for the content that could be compared between first and fourth year. Different resources were used for day-to day information needs and for the completion of the minischolar exercises. The results will inform changes to the Medical Information Literacy program at Queen’s University. The librarians will explore some of the barriers to access to ensure that future students can use information resources with more ease while away from campus.
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