Interactive Education – Blended Learning – Continuous Education

Medical education is evolving along with modern technology. Professionals and students can access instructive material via computers or mobile devices at any time. 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. e-Learning also increases accessibility to data, reduces costs, has a low environmental impact, it is easy to distribute and improves access to educational material.

e-Learning is invaluable in facing the complexity of health education. Hence, it has become a popular medium for delivering and managing knowledge, and an effective way to solve communication needs for highly-specialized fields. 

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). In order to build these web-based learning platforms, developers and educators had joined forces and created instructional methods to improve the quality of education. The generic process used by instructional designers and developers as guideline to build 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 methods are synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning takes place in real time: video conferences, online lesson streaming or polling are a few examples. The second group, asynchronous learning, is independent of time and place. This method includes: computer-based training such as tests or lessons, simulations or learning games. Both methods are useful to learn and memorize concepts easily. 

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 applications is a skilled process and requires expertise in the technical aspects of design and delivery.

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