Electronic learning could enable millions more students to train as doctors and nurses worldwide, according to research.
A review commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and carried out by Imperial College London researchers concludes that eLearning is likely to be as effective as traditional methods for training health professionals.
eLearning, the use of electronic media and devices in education, is already used by some universities to support traditional campus-based teaching or enable distance learning.
Wider use of eLearning might help to address the need to train more health workers across the globe. According to a recent WHO report, the world is short of 7.2 million healthcare professionals, and the figure is growing.
The Imperial team, led by Dr Josip Car, carried out a systematic review of the scientific literature to evaluate the effectiveness of eLearning for undergraduate health professional education.
They conducted separate analyses looking at online learning, requiring an internet connection, and offline learning, delivered using CD-ROMs or USB sticks, for example.
The findings, drawn from a total of 108 studies, showed that students acquire knowledge and skills through online and offline eLearning as well as or better than they do through traditional teaching.
The Latest on: eLearning
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The Latest on: eLearning
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