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      How to improve medical education website design

      , 1 , 1 , 1

      BMC Medical Education

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Background

          The Internet provides a means of disseminating medical education curricula, allowing institutions to share educational resources. Much of what is published online is poorly planned, does not meet learners' needs, or is out of date.

          Discussion

          Applying principles of curriculum development, adult learning theory and educational website design may result in improved online educational resources. Key steps in developing and implementing an education website include: 1) Follow established principles of curriculum development; 2) Perform a needs assessment and repeat the needs assessment regularly after curriculum implementation; 3) Include in the needs assessment targeted learners, educators, institutions, and society; 4) Use principles of adult learning and behavioral theory when developing content and website function; 5) Design the website and curriculum to demonstrate educational effectiveness at an individual and programmatic level; 6) Include a mechanism for sustaining website operations and updating content over a long period of time.

          Summary

          Interactive, online education programs are effective for medical training, but require planning, implementation, and maintenance that follow established principles of curriculum development, adult learning, and behavioral theory.

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          Most cited references 27

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          AMEE Guide 32: e-Learning in medical education Part 1: Learning, teaching and assessment.

          In just a few years, e-learning has become part of the mainstream in medical education. While e-learning means many things to many people, at its heart it is concerned with the educational uses of technology. For the purposes of this guide, we consider the many ways that the information revolution has affected and remediated the practice of healthcare teaching and learning. Deploying new technologies usually introduces tensions, and e-learning is no exception. Some wish to use it merely to perform pre-existing activities more efficiently or faster. Others pursue new ways of thinking and working that the use of such technology affords them. Simultaneously, while education, not technology, is the prime goal (and for healthcare, better patient outcomes), we are also aware that we cannot always predict outcomes. Sometimes, we have to take risks, and 'see what happens.' Serendipity often adds to the excitement of teaching. It certainly adds to the excitement of learning. The use of technology in support of education is not, therefore, a causal or engineered set of practices; rather, it requires creativity and adaptability in response to the specific and changing contexts in which it is used. Medical Education, as with most fields, is grappling with these tensions; the AMEE Guide to e-Learning in Medical Education hopes to help the reader, whether novice or expert, navigate them. This Guide is presented both as an introduction to the novice, and as a resource to more experienced practitioners. It covers a wide range of topics, some in broad outline, and others in more detail. Each section is concluded with a brief 'Take Home Message' which serves as a short summary of the section. The Guide is divided into two parts. The first part introduces the basic concepts of e-learning, e-teaching, and e-assessment, and then focuses on the day-to-day issues of e-learning, looking both at theoretical concepts and practical implementation issues. The second part examines technical, management, social, design and other broader issues in e-learning, and it ends with a review of emerging forms and directions in e-learning in medical education.
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            Comparison of the instructional efficacy of Internet-based CME with live interactive CME workshops: a randomized controlled trial.

            Despite evidence that a variety of continuing medical education (CME) techniques can foster physician behavioral change, there have been no randomized trials comparing performance outcomes for physicians participating in Internet-based CME with physicians participating in a live CME intervention using approaches documented to be effective. To determine if Internet-based CME can produce changes comparable to those produced via live, small-group, interactive CME with respect to physician knowledge and behaviors that have an impact on patient care. Randomized controlled trial conducted from August 2001 to July 2002. Participants were 97 primary care physicians drawn from 21 practice sites in Houston, Tex, including 7 community health centers and 14 private group practices. A control group of 18 physicians from these same sites received no intervention. Physicians were randomly assigned to an Internet-based CME intervention that could be completed in multiple sessions over 2 weeks, or to a single live, small-group, interactive CME workshop. Both incorporated similar multifaceted instructional approaches demonstrated to be effective in live settings. Content was based on the National Institutes of Health National Cholesterol Education Program--Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Knowledge was assessed immediately before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and 12 weeks later. The percentage of high-risk patients who had appropriate lipid panel screening and pharmacotherapeutic treatment according to guidelines was documented with chart audits conducted over a 5-month period before intervention and a 5-month period after intervention. Both interventions produced similar and significant immediate and 12-week knowledge gains, representing large increases in percentage of items correct (pretest to posttest: 31.0% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 27.0%-35.0%]; pretest to 12 weeks: 36.4% [95% CI, 32.2%-40.6%]; P or =93%) with no significant postintervention change. However, the Internet-based intervention was associated with a significant increase in the percentage of high-risk patients treated with pharmacotherapeutics according to guidelines (preintervention, 85.3%; postintervention, 90.3%; P = .04). Appropriately designed, evidence-based online CME can produce objectively measured changes in behavior as well as sustained gains in knowledge that are comparable or superior to those realized from effective live activities.
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              Computer assisted learning in undergraduate medical education.

               T Greenhalgh (2001)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central
                1472-6920
                2010
                21 April 2010
                : 10
                : 30
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore 21287, USA
                Article
                1472-6920-10-30
                10.1186/1472-6920-10-30
                2868857
                20409344
                Copyright ©2010 Sisson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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