PBwiki in medical school!

Ritu S. writes…

I’m a first-year medical student and for Histology class we are assigned multiple group projects over the year. There are six to eight students per group, and we usually divide the project into sections. We each send our individual slides to one or two other students for editing and compilation. For each assignment, our professor receives 32 PowerPoint and Word documents, filled with graphics and various formats of text and “speaker’s notes” via “yousenditâ€?.

After the first assignment, a student recommended using PBwiki to streamline the group projects. Dr. Brandon liked the idea and suggested that the students could do the projects using PBwiki if we felt it would save time and make our projects more cohesive.

From Dr. Brandon’s email:


MS-Word format with pictures (always fiddly to get the pictures to stay where we put them).

PowerPoint. If you use this tool, PLEASE USE SPEAKER’S NOTES!

A Wiki. The best way to collaborate because any group member can edit the current version of the document at any time, using any computer with a browser. You can set one up for free at http://www.pbworks.com. If you’re interested, ask me, or Amy Hockenbrock, for details (the Amy-generated Physiology website at rfumsphysiology.pbworks.com is a good example).

By the end of the last project, about one third of the class groups were putting their presentations together using PBwiki. Our final is coming up and Dr. Brandon just emailed us some links to a handful of the projects, indicating that some of our test questions will come directly from those presentations, as well as some of the PowerPoint files he has posted online.

I knew about PBwiki before my professor made the suggestion, but I wouldn’t have thought to use it for a class project. It’s proven to be a pretty useful tool for a lot of my classmates and myself, more so now that I can easily study for the final using the wikis we’ve created.

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