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Barriers and solutions to online learning in medical education – an integrative review

By Diane O’Doherty, Marie Dromey, Justan Lougheed, Ailish Hannigan, Jason Last and Deirdre McGrath

Abstract

Abstract Background The aim of this study is to review the literature on known barriers and solutions that face educators when developing and implementing online learning programs for medical students and postgraduate trainees. Methods An integrative review was conducted over a three-month period by an inter-institutional research team. The search included ScienceDirect, Scopus, BioMedical, PubMed, Medline (EBSCO & Ovid), ERIC, LISA, EBSCO, Google Scholar, ProQuest A&I, ProQuest UK & Ireland, UL Institutional Repository (IR), UCDIR and the All Aboard Report. Search terms included online learning, medical educators, development, barriers, solutions and digital literacy. The search was carried out by two reviewers. Titles and abstracts were screened independently and reviewed with inclusion/exclusion criteria. A consensus was drawn on which articles were included. Data appraisal was performed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Qualitative Research Checklist and NHMRC Appraisal Evidence Matrix. Data extraction was completed using the Cochrane Data Extraction Form and a modified extraction tool. Results Of the 3101 abstracts identified from the search, ten full-text papers met the inclusion criteria. Data extraction was completed on seven papers of high methodological quality and on three lower quality papers. Findings suggest that the key barriers which affect the development and implementation of online learning in medical education include time constraints, poor technical skills, inadequate infrastructure, absence of institutional strategies and support and negative attitudes of all involved. Solutions to these include improved educator skills, incentives and reward for the time involved with development and delivery of online content, improved institutional strategies and support and positive attitude amongst all those involved in the development and delivery of online content. Conclusion This review has identified barriers and solutions amongst medical educators to the implementation of online learning in medical education. Results can be used to inform institutional and educator practice in the development of further online learning

Topics: E-learning, Online learning, Medical education, Medical faculty, Barriers, Solutions, Special aspects of education, LC8-6691
Publisher: BMC
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1186/s12909-018-1240-0
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:bbf67c8111b74e9e85a9846e982073de
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