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The design of an electronic knowledge model (e-KM) and the study of its efficacy Open Access


Other title
e-learning tool
surgical education
medical education
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Nagendran, Shyamala
Supervisor and department
Examining committee member and department

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Abstract Objectives: To 1) develop an electronic Knowledge Model (e-KM) of a surgical procedure, and 2) investigate the efficacy of the model in knowledge acquisition. The main purpose of the study was to develop a knowledge model of a surgical procedure (cyst removal) in an electronic medium such that it would enhance knowledge acquisition of surgical skills and to then determine the efficacy of the model. This is based on the Fits-Posner stage theory of learning motor skills that has been adopted in many surgical teaching models. Methods: Two randomized experimental studies were conducted in three phases; the total student sample size was 118 (Study 1=56, Study 2=62). In both studies, one group received face-to-face instruction from a professor while the second group employed the e-KM. Both groups were administered a multiple choice test. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression analysis and Pearson’s correlation methods were employed to analyze data. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the frequency of access and its impact on test scores. Reliability was determined with Cronbach’s alpha. Results: The results showed no significant difference (p> .05) between e-KM the computer model and the surgeon instructor. There was a significant correlation between access time to video and knowledge (significant r ranged from .68 to .86, p < .01); however, increased time on task increase test scores, thus having a positive impact on knowledge acquisition. Discussion: Research findings indicate that e-KM performs as well as the human instructor and provides the additional advantage of unlimited online access through the Web while addressing many of the pressures currently plaguing medical schools such as limited resources (staff and facilities), cost of administration, access to knowledge, academic regulations, policies and competing curricula. Furthermore, e-KM provides a standardized teaching model, eliminating instructor variability and functioning as a dependable learning tool. Conclusion: In this thesis, I addressed the efficacy of e-KM on knowledge acquisition. While there was no significant difference between e-KM and the surgeon instructor on knowledge acquisition overall, students who accessed the e- KM multiple times achieved higher scores.
License granted by Shyamala Nagendran ( on 2011-01-26T14:28:03Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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