Theoretical Models and Concepts in e-Education of Health Professionals

O. Lapshin and J. Finkelstein (USA)


e-learning, computer-assisted instruction, medical education, learning theories


Goals: In our article we wanted to analyze how often the theoretical concepts of learning are used in the design of Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) and to compare successful CAI which used some theoretical concepts, with CAI which did not explicitly use any theoretical concepts, and conventional learning methods. Methods: We conducted a search in the Ovid Medline database from 1966 to February 4, 2008. Using MeSH headings we looked for the articles that related to undergraduate, graduate and continuous Medical, Nursing, Dental, Pharmaceutical, and Public Health education. Results: Fifty-nine articles were analyzed. Ten (17 %) of the studies used some learning concepts in the design of CAI. Discussion: Only some elements of learning theories, and very rarely theories themselves, were mentioned in the discussed studies. That, and also the small number of studies using the learning principles, could explain that there was no statistically significant difference between effectiveness of studies using or not using learning concepts (p=0.06). Conclusions: Learning theories and concepts are used rarely in creating computer-assisted instruction programs. Using learning theories in creation of CAI programs could potentially significantly improve effectiveness of computer-assisted education.

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