March 17, 2020

New Publications by Michael Hortsch!

Michael Hortsch


Electronic learning resources are popular with today's students. However, how students choose their favorite e‐learning resources is not well‐understood. The popular SecondLookTM histology self‐review tool was offered in three different interfaces to students participating in two histology courses (Cell and Developmental Biology [CDB] 450/550 and DENT 510). These interfaces included PowerPoint files, an online website, and a mobile application (app). Identical in content, each interface had specific advantages and disadvantages with respect to compatible devices, user features, and access limitations. Upon the conclusion of the courses, students were surveyed about their interface preference, reasons for their selection, and general usage of the SecondLookTM resource. With a 91.4% overall survey participation rate, only 3 out of 213 participating students never used the resource. Many students (46.3% CDB 450/550, 62.9% DENT 510) tried only one interface, with PowerPoint being the most popular final choice (56.5% CBD 450/550, 65.7% DENT 510). Although the interactive website and mobile app offered additional user‐friendly features, they only garnered between 16% and 24% final popularity. “Convenience,” “larger screen,” and “easy to use” were most often reported as reasons for students’ interface preference. The accessibility of where and when the SecondLookTM resource can be used was also frequently cited. This availability encouraged some students to forgo other learning resources and to use the mobile app in distractive environments. The results of this study suggest that today's students are in fact less motivated to seek out high‐tech e‐learning resources than commonly believed and instead often select interfaces with which they are already familiar.