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A Novel Virtual Reality and Tablet App to Support Learning Anatomic and Physiologic Changes During Pregnancy

Background: Traditional approaches to teaching pre-clinical obstetrics understate its dynamic nature. To address this issue, we developed an app, “Road to Birth” (RtB), which was available in two formats: Virtual Reality (VR) and tablet.

Methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval and prior to the obstetrics course, students’ visuospatial ability and technological familiarity were assessed. During the course, RtB was used as a preparatory tool, during lectures, and during problem-based-learning sessions. RtB allowed students to visualize the dynamic process of pregnancy in addition to medical complications while reviewing educationally relevant content and testing their knowledge through in-app quizzes. Students completed weekly National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)-style quizzes and satisfaction surveys.

Results: Nineteen students (66% of the cohort) participated. Students performed highly on visuospatial ability (mean = 92.5%) and none reported recreational VR use. Most students (63%) felt RtB increased their knowledge; however, despite an increased use of VR in medical pedagogy, students described VR as inefficient and preferred the tablet platform. Average in-app quiz performance was high (83%) and comparable to NBME-style quiz performance (79%).

Discussions: The current study supports RtB as an educationally beneficial method of providing obstetric educational content. Interestingly, students preferred to use the app on a tablet as they perceived it to require less time than VR. These findings suggest that educators should consider time requirements and usability as additional influences on student preferences and use patterns.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Student, Medical Knowledge, UME, Virtual Patient, Simulation, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Medical Knowledge,
Virtual Patient,Simulation,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Megan Hutchcraft, MD, Carle Illinois College of Medicine; Robert Wallon; Eliot Bethke; Harris Nisar; Donovan Jones, PhD, MMid, RM, RN; Roberto Galvez, PhD

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