Computer literacy, usage and attitudes towards computer based learning among male and female medical undergraduates

SB Munasinghe, MAN Manchanayaka, D Fernando, AU Abayadeera


Objective: To assess extent of computer literacy, usage and attitudes towards computer based learning among medical undergraduates.

Methods: Cross sectional descriptive study was conducted among 150 third-year medical students in a Sri Lankan state medical faculty using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Commonest daily tasks done by students are browsing internet for information (43.3%), social networking (24.7%) and e-mailing (11.3%). Web designing, Microsoft excel and computer games are less frequently used. Computer literacy was assessed using a literacy score (0 to 44). Median literacy score was 21.00 (SD 7.024). Only 0 .7% of population completely lacked confidence in using computers whereas 42.1% felt confident and 57.1% could manage.

Almost 80% had their own computers while 17% shared computers. Modem/dongle (72%) is the commonest mode of internet access, ADSL/cable/broadband being the second commonest.

About 90% had used a computer assisted learning package (CALP) at least once, either at home (30%), school (29%) or faculty (55%). Among the CALPs in faculty, Virtual Learning Sessions (89%), lessons uploaded in computer laboratory (71.5%) and Audio-Visual lessons (63.5%) are popular. Majority find CALPs useful (65.9%), 66% are not satisfied with computer/internet facilities available. There is a statistically significant difference in computer literacy among male and female students. (X2=13.404,df=1,p<0.05) Almost half of population agreed that assistance should be available in the faculty improve their IT skills.

Conclusion: Medical students are computer literate. Majority owns a computer, access internet and has used CALPs. Males are more computer literate. Almost 50% agreed that IT training is required from the faculty.


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Proceedings of Annual Scientific Sessions of Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardeneprua, Sri Lanka