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For health professionals e-Learning is as effective as traditional learning

A new study has revealed that electronic learning (e-Learning) allows more students to train as medical professionals across the globe compared to traditional learning.

Amongst those who receive their medical training through electronic means are – doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other health professionals. The study was conducted by Imperial College London researchers on behalf of a review commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the study’s findings e-Learning, in most cases, are likely to be as effective as traditional methods for learning as health professionals. Many universities have already deployed e-learning as a key element in their distance learning program, or even for supporting traditional campus based teaching.

The study further suggests that the wider use of e-Learning could be immensely helpful to meet the growing requirement of health workers across the world. WHO statistics show that the world currently has a shortage of 7.2 million health professionals, the figure constantly growing.

The group of researchers, led by Dr. Josip Car, carried out a systematic review of the scientific literature to better assess the overall effectiveness of e-Learning for undergraduate health professional education.

“e-Learning programmes could potentially help address the shortage of healthcare workers by enabling greater access to education, especially in the developing world the need for more health professionals is greatest,” Dr. Car said.

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“There are still barriers that need to be overcome, such as access to computers, internet connections, and learning resources, and this could be helped by facilitating investments in ICT. Universities should encourage the development of e-Learning curricula and use online resources to reach out to students internationally.”

However, the study also suggested that merging e-learning with traditional learning seemed to be a much better alternative for healthcare professionals compared to relying fully on e-learning.

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