Analysis of Online Activity and Feedback from a Virtual Postgraduate Medical Training Programme

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An online postgraduate training programme for doctors training to be specialists in neonatology was developed and delivered over one year within a virtual learning environment. Ninety trainee doctors from 14 European countries participated, the majority of whom had expressed a need for increased theoretical knowledge. Fourteen clinicians supported the cross-cultural learning groups as online tutors following specific online training. Analysis of logins and postings showed a wide variation in online activity for both tutors and trainees. The online activity of tutors appeared to influence learner activity. Initially participation was very good but during the year there was a steady decline such that by the end of the programme only 47% of the trainees and 71% of tutors were actively participating. Despite this, a large majority (92%) of the 67 trainees who provided end-of-programme evaluation data reported that participation had “added value” to their training and 84% felt the programme had achieved its aims and objectives. All of the tutors and 90% of trainees would choose to participate again; the main limiting factor for both groups was a lack of time. Our findings suggest that future online programmes should ensure that “protected” time is provided for both trainees and tutors and that there should be formal integration with existing training programmes and accreditation processes.


Keywords: Online Learning, Postgraduate Medical Education, Neonatology, Online Analysis, Evaluation, Online Tutors
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , , , , , , , , , Analysis of Online Activity and Feedback from a Virtual Postgraduate Medical Training Programme, An


Dr. Michael Hall

Consultant in Neonatal Paediatrics, Dept of Neonatal Medicine
The Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton University NHS Trust

Southampton, Hampshire, UK

As a senior neonatal clinician one of my main interests is the development and delivery of postgraduate education. My specific interest in online learning has evolved over a number of years and I have been responsible for online postgraduate education projects locally, nationally and more recently within Europe. As a member of a European Partnership and with funding from the European Commission it has recently been possible to develop a virtual learning environment. and deliver a structured educational training programmes for junior doctors working in Europe. I am particularly interested in exploring how online education can be provided to enhance learning, promote collaborative working and support the training and quality assurance of neonatal training. The issues related to the integration of online learning with the current approach to postgraduate education and professional and academic accreditation for online learning remain challenges that need further consideration.

Susan Smith

Lecturer/Practitioner, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Southampton
Southampton, UK


Dr. Marina Cuttini

Unit of Epidemiology, aediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù
Rome, Italy


Prof. Gorm Greisen

Affiliation not supplied
Copenhagen, Denmark


Prof. Neil Marlow

Affiliation not supplied
Nottingham, UK


Prof. Patrick Truffert

Affiliation not supplied
Lyon, France


Prof. Adolf Valls I Soler

Affiliation not supplied
Bilbao, Spain


Ref: T08P0434