Distance Learning in Clinical Transplantation: A Successful Model in Post-Graduate Education

Ahmed Halawa, Ajay Sharma, Julie M Bridson, Sarah Lyon, Denise Prescott, Arpan Guha, David Taylor

Abstract


Background and Purpose: There are misconceptions among clinicians and educational bodies that online courses
would not suit clinically orientated medical education, where bedside management and direct contact with real
patients is the key to the learning process. Whereas, the proponents of online education believe that a well-designed
and properly blueprinted course can deliver the required education that would efficiently meet the expectations of
both the student and these educational bodies. While variations in medical practice are a norm that warrant a flexible
and, at the same time, a focused approach is required to ensure that ‘threshold concepts’ are learnt, which is an
additional challenge. We aimed to facilitate the students to develop skills of learning from work-based reflective
practice by linking with their own real-time analysis of their own clinical experience. This is supported by a robust
scientific basis, a unique opportunity for many clinicians who may not have a reliable opportunity for discussion and,
thereby, this course (MSc in Transplantation) provides a platform that allows everyone to learn from each other’s
experience by using ‘e-blackboard®’.
Methods: Not just a knowledge transfer, the critical thresholds of each and every chapter in the 4 modules of MSc in
Transplantation Sciences were defined to a razor-sharp precision. Learning objectives of learning activity were
aimed to achieve constructive alignment with critical threshold. We employed Kirkpatrick pyramid (satisfaction,
learning, impact, results and return on investment) (a) for the evaluation of our performance as educators of the
programme, and (b) to evaluate the acceptance of this non-traditional format in clinical medicine education by
postgraduate students (80 transplant clinicians from 22 countries).
Results: Students’ survey of the first cohort (satisfaction, Kirkpatrick level 1) reported 93% students’ satisfaction
rate. 93% of the students passed module one (learning Kirkpatrick level 2) and 100% subscription to module two
(return on investment Kirkpatrick level 5).
Conclusion: For a successful model in distance learning in clinical medicine it is imperative to establish an effective
supportive contact using a range of modalities in order to allow real-time reflective practice that is so crucial in
enabling the students to learn from their own clinical experience.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v7n3p74

 

World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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