Prescribing help for future doctors: Characteristics of an open, online, MCAT study forum

Carla van de Sande, Catherine Hart-Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Free, open, online, help forums are a resource where students are connected to volunteer helpers who provide assistance with specific problems from schoolwork. These forums exist for a wide range of school subject areas and levels, and many students use these forums when they need help with completing their assignments outside of the classroom. In addition, students use these forums when they need help preparing for major examinations. One forum hosted by the Student Doctor Network® (SDN), a nonprofit educational organization, is widely used by students as they study to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®). The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination assessing problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scoring well on this exam is paramount for students interested in medical careers since performance on the MCAT is a deciding factor for whether, and to what university, a student will be admitted to study medicine. In this project, characteristics of this asynchronous help environment were examined to determine whether conditions of learning are present. In particular, 342 threads posted in April and May 2010 were investigated for evidence of efficiency, conceptual depth, and peer tutoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011
Pages73-79
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
EventIADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: Nov 6 2011Nov 8 2011

Publication series

NameIADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011

Other

OtherIADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011
CountryBrazil
CityRio de Janeiro
Period11/6/1111/8/11

Keywords

  • Learning communities
  • Medical school preparation
  • Networked learning
  • Online forums
  • Peer tutoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Education

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  • Cite this

    van de Sande, C., & Hart-Weber, C. (2011). Prescribing help for future doctors: Characteristics of an open, online, MCAT study forum. In IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011 (pp. 73-79). (IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, CELDA 2011).