The effect of pre-course e-learning prior to advanced life support training: A randomised controlled trial

University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School, Warwick, United Kingdom.
Resuscitation (Impact Factor: 4.17). 07/2010; 81(7):877-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.03.019
Source: PubMed


The role of e-learning in contemporary healthcare education is quickly developing. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the use of an e-learning simulation programme (Microsim, Laerdal, UK) prior to attending an Advanced Life Support (ALS) course and the subsequent relationship to candidate performance.
An open label, multi-centre randomised controlled study was conducted. The control group received a course manual and pre-course MCQ four weeks prior to the face to face course. The intervention group in addition received the Microsim programme on a CD. The primary outcome was performance during a simulated cardiac arrest at the end of the course. Secondary outcomes were performance during multiple choice exams, resuscitation skills assessments and feedback to Microsim programme.
572 participants were randomised (287 Microsim, 285 control). There were no significant differences in the primary outcome (performance during a standard cardiac arrest simulation) or secondary outcomes. User evaluations were favorable. 79% would recommend it to colleagues. 9% stated Microsim could replace the entire ALS course, 25% parts. Over 70% of participants' perceived that Microsim improved their understanding of the key learning domains of the ALS course.
Distributing Microsim to healthcare providers prior to attending an ALS courses did not improve either cognitive or psychomotor skills performance during cardiac arrest simulation testing. The challenge that lies ahead is to identify the optimal way to use e-learning as part of a blended approach to learning for this type of training programme.

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    • "Evaluations of students’ opinion and acceptance can be seen as first step when establishing a new e-learning program [4,14,21]. Consistent with the literature, this study revealed a high approval of the participating users for the additionally offered e-learning contents. While a broad acceptance is crucial for successful e-learning implementation [1], it is also important to evaluate its influence on students’ gain of knowledge and skills [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: While e-learning is enjoying increasing popularity as adjunct in modern teaching, studies on this topic should shift from mere evaluation of students' satisfaction towards assessing its benefits on enhancement of knowledge and skills. This pilot study aimed to detect the teaching effects of a blended learning program on students of orthopedics and traumatology in the context of a problem-based learning environment. The project NESTOR (network for students in traumatology and orthopedics) was offered to students in a problem-based learning course. Participants completed written tests before and directly after the course, followed by a final written test and an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) as well as an evaluation questionnaire at the end of the semester. Results were compared within the group of NESTOR users and non-users and between these two groups. Participants (n = 53) rated their experiences very positively. An enhancement in knowledge was found directly after the course and at the final written test for both groups (p < 0.001). NESTOR users scored higher than non-users in the post-tests, while the OSCE revealed no differences between the groups. This pilot study showed a positive effect of the blended learning approach on knowledge enhancement and satisfaction of participating students. However, it will be an aim for the future to further explore the chances of this approach and internet-based technologies for possibilities to improve also practical examination skills.
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