BACKGROUND: There is controversial evidence of the impact of individual learning style on students' performance in computer-aided learning. AIMS: We assessed the association between the use of multimedia materials, such as video clips, and collaborative communication tools with learning outcome among medical students. METHOD: One hundred and twenty-one third-year medical students attended a course in medical informatics (0.7 credits) consisting of lectures, small group sessions and eLearning material. The eLearning material contained six learning modules with integrated video clips and collaborative learning tools in WebCT. Learning outcome was measured with a course exam. RESULTS: Approximately two-thirds of students (68.6%) viewed two or more videos. Female students were significantly more active video-watchers. No significant associations were found between video-watching and self-test scores or the time used in eLearning. Video-watchers were more active in WebCT; they loaded more pages and more actively participated in discussion forums. Video-watching was associated with a better course grade. CONCLUSIONS: Students who watched video clips were more active in using collaborative eLearning tools and achieved higher course grades.
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