Medical content searching, retrieving, and sharing over the internet: Lessons learned from the meducator through a scenario-based evaluation
Schizas, Christos N.
Pattichis, Constantinos S.
Bamidis, Panagiotis D.
SourceJournal of Medical Internet Research
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Background: The mEducator Best Practice Network (BPN) implemented and extended standards and reference models in e-learning to develop innovative frameworks as well as solutions that enable specialized state-of-the-art medical educational content to be discovered, retrieved, shared, and re-purposed across European Institutions, targeting medical students, doctors, educators and health care professionals. Scenario-based evaluation for usability testing, complemented with data from online questionnaires and field notes of users' performance, was designed and utilized for the evaluation of these solutions. Objective: The objective of this work is twofold: (1) to describe one instantiation of the mEducator BPN solutions (mEducator3.0-"MEdical Education LINnked Arena" MELINA+) with a focus on the metadata schema used, as well as on other aspects of the system that pertain to usability and acceptance, and (2) to present evaluation results on the suitability of the proposed metadata schema for searching, retrieving, and sharing of medical content and with respect to the overall usability and acceptance of the system from the target users. Methods: A comprehensive evaluation methodology framework was developed and applied to four case studies, which were conducted in four different countries (ie, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania), with a total of 126 participants. In these case studies, scenarios referring to creating, sharing, and retrieving medical educational content using mEducator3.0 were used. The data were collected through two online questionnaires, consisting of 36 closed-ended questions and two open-ended questions that referred to mEducator 3.0 and through the use of field notes during scenario-based evaluations. Results: The main findings of the study showed that even though the informational needs of the mEducator target groups were addressed to a satisfactory extent and the metadata schema supported content creation, sharing, and retrieval from an end-user perspective, users faced difficulties in achieving a shared understanding of the meaning of some metadata fields and in correctly managing the intellectual property rights of repurposed content. Conclusions: The results of this evaluation impact researchers, medical professionals, and designers interested in using similar systems for educational content sharing in medical and other domains. Recommendations on how to improve the search, retrieval, identification, and obtaining of medical resources are provided, by addressing issues of content description metadata, content description procedures, and intellectual property rights for re-purposed content. © Athos Antoniades, Iolie Nicolaidou, Dimitris Spachos, Jarkko Mylläri, Daniela Giordano, Eleni Dafli, Evangelia Mitsopoulou, Christos N Schizas, Constantinos Pattichis, Maria Nikolaidou, Panagiotis Bamidis.