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      Barriers and solutions to online learning in medical education – an integrative review

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          Abstract

          Background

          The aim of this study is to review the literature on known barriers and solutions that face educators when developing and implementing online learning programs for medical students and postgraduate trainees.

          Methods

          An integrative review was conducted over a three-month period by an inter-institutional research team. The search included ScienceDirect, Scopus, BioMedical, PubMed, Medline (EBSCO & Ovid), ERIC, LISA, EBSCO, Google Scholar, ProQuest A&I, ProQuest UK & Ireland, UL Institutional Repository (IR), UCDIR and the All Aboard Report. Search terms included online learning, medical educators, development, barriers, solutions and digital literacy. The search was carried out by two reviewers. Titles and abstracts were screened independently and reviewed with inclusion/exclusion criteria. A consensus was drawn on which articles were included. Data appraisal was performed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Qualitative Research Checklist and NHMRC Appraisal Evidence Matrix. Data extraction was completed using the Cochrane Data Extraction Form and a modified extraction tool.

          Results

          Of the 3101 abstracts identified from the search, ten full-text papers met the inclusion criteria. Data extraction was completed on seven papers of high methodological quality and on three lower quality papers. Findings suggest that the key barriers which affect the development and implementation of online learning in medical education include time constraints, poor technical skills, inadequate infrastructure, absence of institutional strategies and support and negative attitudes of all involved. Solutions to these include improved educator skills, incentives and reward for the time involved with development and delivery of online content, improved institutional strategies and support and positive attitude amongst all those involved in the development and delivery of online content.

          Conclusion

          This review has identified barriers and solutions amongst medical educators to the implementation of online learning in medical education. Results can be used to inform institutional and educator practice in the development of further online learning.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (10.1186/s12909-018-1240-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references25

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          Student barriers to online learning: A factor analytic study

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            Effective e-learning for health professionals and students--barriers and their solutions. A systematic review of the literature--findings from the HeXL project.

            In 2003/4 the Information Management Research Institute, Northumbria University, conducted a research project to identify the barriers to e-learning for health professionals and students. The project also established possible ways to overcome these barriers. The North of England Workforce Development Confederation funded the project. The project comprised a systematic review of the literature on barriers to and solutions/critical success factors for e-learning in the health field. Fifty-seven references were suitable for analysis. This review was supplemented by a questionnaire survey of learners and an interview study of learning providers to ensure that data identified from the literature were grounded in reality. The main barriers are: requirement for change; costs; poorly designed packages; inadequate technology; lack of skills; need for a component of face-to-face teaching; time intensive nature of e-learning; computer anxiety. A range of solutions can solve these barriers. The main solutions are: standardization; strategies; funding; integration of e-learning into the curriculum; blended teaching; user friendly packages; access to technology; skills training; support; employers paying e-learning costs; dedicated work time for e-learning. The authors argue that librarians can play an important role in e-learning: providing support and support materials; teaching information skills; managing and providing access to online information resources; producing their own e-learning packages; assisting in the development of other packages.
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              Computer assisted learning in undergraduate medical education.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                diane.odoherty@ul.ie
                marie.dromey@gmail.com
                14076764@studentmail.ul.ie
                Ailish.hannigan@ul.ie
                Jason.last@ucd.ie
                Deirdre.mcgrath@ul.ie
                Journal
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central (London )
                1472-6920
                7 June 2018
                7 June 2018
                2018
                : 18
                : 130
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 9692, GRID grid.10049.3c, Graduate Entry Medical School, , University of Limerick, ; Limerick, Ireland
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0768 2743, GRID grid.7886.1, School of Medicine, , University College Dublin, ; Dublin, Ireland
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0768 2743, GRID grid.7886.1, University College Dublin, ; Dublin, Ireland
                Article
                1240
                10.1186/s12909-018-1240-0
                5992716
                29880045
                158ac46a-2961-43bf-a2b8-0b26c08f566e
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                History
                : 18 January 2017
                : 25 May 2018
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Education
                e-learning,online learning,medical education,medical faculty,barriers,solutions
                Education
                e-learning, online learning, medical education, medical faculty, barriers, solutions

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