Training Healthcare Professionals – eLearning is just as good

Picture1Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO), commissioned Imperial College London to conclusively review all the available scientific research reports in the market to determine if eLearning is a viable means to train undergraduate healthcare professionals to address the acute shortfall (over 7.2 Million) in qualified healthcare professionals. The key findings from this report reinforces the general upward trend in the adoption of eLearning.

Here are some key findings from the report:

1.  eLearning is at least not worse than traditional classroom based learning and that they can be equivalent and perhaps even superior to traditional learning in terms of knowledge and skills gained. In addition, they offer a more convenient, and possibly more cost-effective, alternative for facilitating competency development and the training of health-care professionals around the globe. Phew! that was a relief.

2. 42% of the research reports concluded that a higher proportion of students favored eLearning intervention. Just goes to show that there is a growing tendency to take control of the learning process. Case in point is the rapid growth of MOOCs.

3. The most common perceived disadvantages of eLearning, from a student perspective, listed by some of the research papers included in this study are:

a. Lack of student–teacher interaction and tutor support

b. Feelings of isolation

c. Being unable to clarify with a tutor in person when concepts are not understood

d. Lack of in-depth group discussion

4. Some of the advantages and disadvantages listed by educators (as listed in the research reports reviewed) are:

a. Freeing up lecturers’ time to “devote to higher levels of cognitive learning such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation and allowing for “more complex subjects to be covered in tutor-led workshops”

b. Developing eLearning content was cited to be expensive and time consuming by a number of research papers.

c. Some good news for patients. This report has highlighted that eLearning can also facilitate skill acquisition and allow practicing of skills prior to experience with real patients. This is advantageous in improving students’ skills at their own pace, allowing repetition and practice, and therefore reducing the number of procedures carried out on real patients.

The entire report is available for download here.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in eLearning, Learning

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