Interactive Education – Blended Learning – Continuous Education

Medical education is evolving along with modern technology. Professionals and students can access, at any time, instructive material via computers or mobile devices. e-Learning, also called web-based learning or computer assisted instruction, delivers concepts and instructions to students using multimedia resources and didactic methods to enhance the learning process and contribute to a better assimilation of information. Also e-Learning increases the accessibility to data, reduces costs, has a low environmental impact, it is easy to distribute and improves access to educational material.

e-Learning is nowadays a basic part of medical education, thanks to its added value facing the complexity of health education. Therefore, it has become a popular medium for delivering and managing knowledge, and an effective way to solve communication needs for the fields that require a high specialization level.

At Swiss4ward we have participated in the development process of e-Learning platforms in the field of medicine, especially in dermatology. One example is DOIT (Dermatology Online with Interactive Learning). For the creation of this web-based learning platforms, developers and educators join forces and create instructional methods to improve the quality of education. The generic process used by instructional designers and developers as guideline to build and performance tools is called ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation). This is an instructional system design for the creation of experiences that make the acquisition of knowledge more effective.

Many types of e-Learning methods can be created. The two main group of methods are synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning takes place in real time: video conferences, online streaming of a lesson or polling are a few examples. The second group, asynchronous learning, is independent of time. This method includes: computer-based training such as tests or lessons, simulations or learning games. Both methods are useful to learn and memorize concepts in an easy way.

The learning environment is dynamic and constantly changing, thus there is a need to enhance e-Learning platforms to improve teaching and learning techniques. Developing computer based learning application is a skilled process and requires expertise in technical aspects of design and delivery.

Many universities and schools are discovering the benefits of computer assisted learning materials. There is an evidence for the effectiveness and acceptance; e-Learning programs and their devices are increasingly employed to educate physicians. The future of e-Learning in every field, included healthcare professional education is promising. Internet-based learning software is another tool for educators. Undergraduates accept e-Learning platforms during their training and hold a positive perception to them.