Evaluation of the Road to Birth Software to Support Obstetric Problem-Based Learning Education with a Cohort of Pre-Clinical Medical Students

Megan L. Hutchcraft, Robert C. Wallon, Shanna M. Fealy, Donovan Jones, Roberto Galvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integration of technology within problem-based learning curricula is expanding; however, information regarding student experiences and attitudes about the integration of such technologies is limited. This study aimed to evaluate pre-clinical medical student perceptions and use patterns of the “Road to Birth” (RtB) software, a novel program designed to support human maternal anatomy and physiology education. Second-year medical students at a large midwestern American university participated in a prospective, mixed-methods study. The RtB software is available as a mobile smartphone/tablet application and in immersive virtual reality. The program was integrated into problem-based learning activities across a three-week obstetrics teaching period. Student visuospatial ability, weekly program usage, weekly user satisfaction, and end-of-course focus group interview data were obtained. Survey data were analyzed and summarized using descriptive statistics. Focus group interview data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Of the eligible students, 66% (19/29) consented to participate in the study with 4 students contributing to the focus group interview. Students reported incremental knowledge increases on weekly surveys (69.2% week one, 71.4% week two, and 78.6% week three). Qualitative results indicated the RtB software was perceived as a useful educational resource; however, its interactive nature could have been further optimized. Students reported increased use of portable devices over time and preferred convenient options when using technology incorporated into the curriculum. This study identifies opportunities to better integrate technology into problem-based learning practices in medical education. Further empirical research is warranted with larger and more diverse student samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • reproductive anatomy
  • medical education
  • obstetrics
  • pregnancy
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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