Dermatology is poorly taught to medical students despite the fact it represents up to 20% of presentations to primary care. This has meant that junior doctors approach skin conditions with a lack of confidence and familiarity. The teaching of dermatology is given a low priority in the already crowded medical course. Computer and smartphone based teaching is increasingly useful as it does not require face-to-face attendance and offers self-paced, customised courses that are easily accessible. The research question is: what is the best format, desirable characteristics and subsequently best evaluation for an educational resource which aims to facilitate the education of dermatology to medical students? The next part of the question is: what are the preliminary results of the evaluation and how will it direct future resource implementation?
The first step in creation of the resource was a literature review, interviews and focus groups with medical students and doctors. This identified the current student priorities and pedagogical requirements. Subsequently, an app, Rash Decisions, was developed. The second half of this research was to evaluate Rash Decisions using surveys identified in the literature and semi-structured interviews to assess usability, confidence, engagement and motivation. Although the results were limited by sample size, the evaluation identified that students believed the app was useful, accessible and engaging. The interviews identified areas of possible improvement that would not otherwise have been recognised. This research concludes with guidelines to create an app for education based on the literature and the researcher’s reflections. This thesis has documented both the desirable characteristics of a resource from the perspective of stakeholders, and the optimal way to evaluate such a tool. Furthermore, through design-test-redesign cycles, it has identified that dermatology education of medical students may be successfully facilitated with the development of a smartphone app.