Using a decade of data on medical student computer literacy for strategic planning

Brenda L. Seago, Jeanne B. Schlesinger, Carol L. Hampton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: From 1991 through 2000, incoming medical students (M-Is) at the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University have been surveyed with a written questionnaire on their computer literacy. The survey's purpose is to learn the students' levels of knowledge, skill, and experience with computer technology to guide instructional services and facilities. Methodology: The questionnaire was administered during M-I orientation or mailed to students' homes after matriculation. It evolved from sixteen questions in 1991 to twenty-three questions in 2000, with fifteen questions common to all. Results: The average survey response rate was 81% from an average of 177 students. Six major changes were introduced based on information collected from the surveys and advances in technology: production of CD-ROMs distributed to students containing required computer-based instructional programs, delivery of evaluation instruments to students via the Internet, modification of the lab to a mostly PC-based environment, development of an electronic curriculum Website, development of computerized examinations for medical students to prepare them for the computerized national board examinations, and initiation of a personal digital assistant (PDA) project for students to evaluate PDAs' usefulness in clinical settings. Conclusion: The computer literacy survey provides a snapshot of students' past and present use of technology and guidance for the development of services and facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Medical Library Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Library and Information Sciences


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