Background: Computer-based learning has gained widespread acceptance in medical curricula, but can it replace faculty-led teaching. Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of independent computer-based learning of pulmonary auscultation alone and in combination with faculty-led teaching. Methods: The first method involved independent computer-based instruction (CBI; Group 1) of 113 second-year medical students. The second method involved a combination of faculty-led instruction and independent CBI (Group 2) of 79 second-year medical students. A pretest-posttest method of assessment was used. Results: The pretest showed recognition rates of 48% for Group 1 and 46% for Group 2, whereas the posttest showed recognition rates of 81% for Group 1 and 88% for Group 2. The posttest clinical correlation scores were identical with both groups scoring 93%. Conclusions: The study demonstrates that student learning of pulmonary auscultation is similar whether a computer-based independent instructional approach is used alone or in combination with faculty-led sessions.
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