Author: Kim S, Noveck H, Willett L and O'Rourke K Publication Year: 2013
Summary: Mobile devices improve access to information resources. The aim of this study is to explore the use of apps and mobile optimized websites to teach information literacy and to assess student utilization of resources.
Description: Background: Mobile devices improve access to information resources.

Aim: To explore the use of apps and mobile optimized websites to teach information literacy and to assess student utilization of resources.

Method: Two faculty facilitators conducted a 90-minute workshop for 120 medical students at the beginning of their third year. Five medical information resources available as apps or mobile optimized websites were introduced, and students were instructed to navigate through them with their smartphones to answer clinical questions provided. Post-tests immediately after the workshop and at 12 months assessed students’ utilization of mobile resources.

Results: Eighty-nine students (74%) completed the pretest and the first post-test, and 110 (92%) completed the second post-test. The workshop improved ease of access to resources discussed. At 1 year, there was a significant increase in use of all mobile resources discussed during the workshop (P < .0001). The most commonly used mobile resources were Google (95% of students reporting use), followed by DynaMed (68.5%), and AccessMedicine (59.6%).

Conclusions: Apps and mobile websites can be used to teach information literacy to a large group of students. Instructing students to download the apps prior to the session ensured access to the resources and increased use of mobile resources during their clerkships.

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