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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 215-216

Strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of e-learning courses in medical education and health professions education


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission17-May-2020
Date of Decision06-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance25-Jan-2021
Date of Web Publication11-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu, India
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_39_20

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  Abstract 


E-learning refers to the employment of technology to facilitate access to learning resources on the internet to enhance acquisition of new knowledge, skills and/or behavior. It is very important to develop an understanding about the process involved in the development of an e-learning strategy, and it has to start with analyzing the existing situation and how e-learning can bridge the gap. Regardless of the e-learning course, if the organizers want to ensure that participants are maximally benefited, it is essential that the organizers take efforts to know their participants, especially in terms of their learning behaviors and needs, so that these areas can be targeted during the course. Finally, the organizers should be always aiming for the improvement of the program through modifications in the program based on the feedback received from the participants. In conclusion, e-learning is an important addition in the delivery of the medical curriculum or the health professions education. However, it is crucial for the organizers to adopt different strategies to ensure that the overall effectiveness of the program can be enhanced and the intended objectives are accomplished.

Keywords: E-learning, Health profession education, Medical education


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of e-learning courses in medical education and health professions education. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:215-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of e-learning courses in medical education and health professions education. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 26];6:215-6. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/2/215/323717



E-learning refers to the employment of technology to facilitate access to learning resources on the internet to enhance acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and/or behavior.[1] The use of e-learning has significantly increased in the past decade in the different fields of health professions education.[1] Even though, many institutions have realized the potential and merits (such as learning at own pace, bridging the gap of geographical distance, easy access to various learning resources, hands-on demonstration, assessment, etc.) linked with e-learning and have adopted the same, there are some definite challenges including questions pertaining to the performance of the learners, which has prevented the universal adoption of the various e-learning tools in their set-up.[1],[2]

Scope of e-learning

It is very important to develop an understanding about the process involved in the development of an e-learning strategy, and it has to start with analyzing the existing situation and how e-learning can bridge the gap, and this should be followed by identification of content, establishing the mechanism to promote access and retrieval of the learning resource, mapping the content, selection of the appropriate e-learning tool, setting the process of assessment, and establishing criteria for the evaluation of the course.[2],[3]

Components of an e-learning course

An effective e-learning course should comprise of an optimal mix of text, graphics, animation, etc., promote active learning through participant involvement, give the opportunity for learners to learn at their own pace, and with an inbuilt mechanism to raise queries and get appropriate feedback about their performance.[2],[3],[4]

Strategies to enhance e-learning

Regardless of the e-learning course, if the organizers want to ensure that participants are maximally benefited, it is essential that the organizers take efforts to know their participants, especially in terms of their learning behaviors and needs so that these areas can be targeted during the course.[4] It becomes extremely essential to make the course learner-centric, define specific, and feasible objectives, which not only aids the learner to opt for the course but also even allows the organizers to check whether all the intended objectives are covered or not during the course.[3],[4] In addition, the program has to be interactive and should follow a logical order to enhance the uptake of the course by the participants. Further, it is ideal to keep the modules brief, visually appealing and meaningful but also should give an opportunity for the participants to explore additional aspects.[2],[3],[4]

Additional considerations

It is important to acknowledge that no two e-learning courses are same, and thus it is wise to state the course objectives and formulate the strategy which will enable the learners to make progression and eventually accomplish the set goals.[2] For the delivery of course content, the facilitators have to be trained and should adopt a wide range of teaching strategies (such as scenario-based e-learning or story-based e-learning) to enhance active participation of the learners and should encourage the active application of the knowledge and practical skills.[5] Moreover, to enhance the effectiveness of the e-learning courses, it is always advisable to conduct the same in the blended form, which should allow both online sessions as well as some contact sessions. Finally, the organizers should be always aiming for the improvement of the program through modifications in the program based on the feedback received from the participants.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Lessons from the field

At Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, a constituent unit of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry, a number of initiatives have been taken to implement effective e-learning for the benefit of both students as well as health professionals. These include initiation of the learning management system, incorporation of e-learning as a teaching-learning & assessment strategy, use of e-portfolios as a tool for learning and assessment among postgraduates, etc. All these initiatives have been effective due to the planning which has gone behind and the role of Medical Education Unit and support from the technical staff.


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, e-learning is an important addition in the delivery of the medical curriculum or the health professions education. However, it is crucial for the organizers to adopt different strategies to ensure that the overall effectiveness of the program can be enhanced and the intended objectives are accomplished.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need of E-learning in medical education and strategies for its implementation in medical colleges in India. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2019;12:264-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Regmi K, Jones L. A systematic review of the factors - enablers and barriers - affecting e-learning in health sciences education. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:91.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
de Leeuw RA, Logger DN, Westerman M, Bretschneider J, Plomp M, Scheele F. Influencing factors in the implementation of postgraduate medical e-learning: A thematic analysis. BMC Med Educ 2019;19:300.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Jamil NA, Shaikh S, Munir S, Malek S, Khan A. Development of e-learning in medical education: A student's perspective. Korean J Med Educ 2019;31:371-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Rawlings D, Tieman J, Moores C. E-learning: Who uses it and what difference does it make? Int J Palliat Nurs 2019;25:482-93.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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