Student-led Journal Club with a Technology for Asynchronous Discussions In-line with Content.


  • Constantinos Petsoglou University of Sydney
  • Gloria Gomez University of Sydney
  • Rebecca Stoop Universty of Sydney


Background: Online journal club was begun in Feb 2014 in response to reducing online engagement by postgraduate doctors.

Aim: To assess the impact of experiential based online discussions for postgraduate students enrolled in Master of Medicine (Ophthalmic Science) degree collaboratively run by the Universities of Sydney and Otago.

Methods: This assignment was instituted in 3 units of study: Ophthalmic Physiology, Ophthalmic Anatomy and Optics. Students were assigned weekly discussion topics and encouraged to select a clinically relevant peer reviewed journal article related to the week’s lectures. 1-2 students developed summaries and the clinical implications of the basic sciences lectures discussed inside OB3 - a technology for asynchronous discussions in-line with content. Fellow students had 7 days to discuss and expand on these ideas and build a collaborative online document analyzing scientific evidence, other articles, relevance to basic sciences and future directions of research.

Results: This online collaboration works very well as an assessment activity with the goal of showing students the relevance of basic science in clinical practice. Students are comfortable discussing papers that marry science and practice together because this is day-to-day work for them. OB3 has allowed us to provide a network within the course to discuss and monitor an article each week. A significant increase in discussions posts and access to journal pages was noticed over 12 months. This has been sustained over the last 7 years.

Conclusion: Experiential online learning via a journal club in basic science units of study increase educational engagement of medical professionals enrolled in postgraduate degrees.