The role of Interactive Multimedia (IMM) resourses in enhancing delivery of medical information and knowledge to student users: A cases study of Medical School, University Of Nairobi
Mugo, Harun Kamau
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The computer networks and internet connections has mostly been assumed to make institutions Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Interactive Multimedia (IMM) compliant. The internet and Compact Disc Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) based information may be thought to provide class lecture information sufficient support. However, these facilities do not necessarily add up to availability and access to IMM resources or even effective utilization and support to class lectures, surgery and laboratory procedures. The resources should be specially identified and recommended by the lecturers and librarians to the medical students for ready access and utilization. This study sought to investigate the availability of IMM resources in the Medical School, UoN, their access and utilization in delivery of medical information and knowledge. The objectives of the study were to: • Establish the availability and determine the IMM sources and channels of information in the Medical School. • Establish the extent of use of IMM resources in enhancing delivery of information in the Medical School. • Identify areas where IMM technology can be used to gain medical procedure information and knowledge. • Identify the potential challenges and future of IMM in dissemination of medical information. The study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. A set of two questionnaires were administered to student information users and librarians of the Medical Library, UoN. The researcher interacted with students and librarians in the library for direct observation. The data was coded and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. The findings revealed that the students valued the IMM resources. However, the IMM resources available in the Medical School were internet-based and externally acquired CD-ROM resources. The UoN has not integrated IMM in its information system. The IMM resources used are mostly in textual format (e.g. electronic journals) and discussions. The simulations and animations, though considered more effective mode of delivery of procedural information and knowledge are used at negligible levels. The students suggested many practical procedures especially in surgery should be provided in IMM technology. The identified challenges in adopting IMM technology included funding, inadequate IMM literacy among users and librarians, inadequate IMM facilities and user awareness. It was recommended that an IMM designated department should be established to cater for IMM integration into the school's academic curriculum. Number computers, internet bandwidth and IMM competency and collaborations should be improved. It is pertinent that IMM implementation must be strategically planned for its potential benefits realisation.