Learner evaluation of an online continuing medical education course for general practitioners
Societal expectations for quality medical care have made it imperative that doctors undergo Continuing Medical Education (CME) to keep abreast of new developments in medicine. Taking cognizance of the potential of ‘Online Learning’, the OUSL offered an online CME course on cardiovascular health for physicians.
The course purchased from Monash University, Australia was updated and adapted to suit the Sri Lankan context. The course which was available in print format was converted into an online format on the learning management system ‘Moodle’. While designing the online format, the course was enriched by using audio visual material, discussion forums, self assessment activities and an online reflective journal. Online assessments included a variety of assessment methods. The course team functioned as tutor mentors to facilitate learning.
All learners (n=21) participated in the evaluation of the course by completing an online questionnaire. The questionnaire had 16 closed questions and seven open ended questions. Responses to the closed questions were gathered on a four point Likert scale. Frequencies were computed for closed questions and content analysis was carried out for open-ended questions.
Learners perceived interactive and collaborative learning as the most liked features. They agreed that the audiovisual material enriched the course and that sessions were well structured, easy to understand and interesting. Some disliked essays and reflective writing while others suggested more interaction and audio-visual material to improve the course. Problems faced by learners were mainly of a technical nature. Finally, learners expressed an overall satisfaction with the course and thought that online learning was a rewarding experience. Learner evaluation showed that pedagogy, social environment and technical underpinning should be properly utilised in optimising learning in an online learning environment. The course had provided an enjoyable, satisfying and useful experience for physicians who lack the opportunity of undergoing face to face CME.
Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics 2012;3(3):65-74