Distance Learning in Clinical Transplantation; A Successful Model in Post-graduate Education

A Halawa, A Sharma, J Bridson, Sarah Lyon

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Background and Purpose: There are misconceptions among clinicians and educational bodies that online courses would not suit clinically orientated medical education, where bedside management and direct contact with real patients is the key to the learning process. Whereas, the proponents of online education believe that a well-designed and properly blueprinted course can deliver the required education that would efficiently meet the expectations of both the student and these educational bodies. While variations in medical practice are a norm that warrant a flexible and, at the same time, a focused approach is required to ensure that ‘threshold concepts’ are learnt, which is an additional challenge. We aimed to facilitate the students to develop skills of learning from work-based reflective practice by linking with their own real-time analysis of their own clinical experience. This is supported by a robust scientific basis, a unique opportunity for many clinicians who may not have a reliable opportunity for discussion and, thereby, this course (MSc in Transplantation) provides a platform that allows everyone to learn from each other’s experience by using ‘e-blackboard®’. Methods: Not just a knowledge transfer, the critical thresholds of each and every chapter in the 4 modules of MSc in Transplantation Sciences were defined to a razor-sharp precision. Learning objectives of learning activity were aimed to achieve constructive alignment with critical threshold. We employed Kirkpatrick pyramid (satisfaction, learning, impact, results and return on investment) (a) for the evaluation of our performance as educators of the programme, and (b) to evaluate the acceptance of this non-traditional format in clinical medicine education by postgraduate students (80 transplant clinicians from 22 countries). Results: Students’ survey of the first cohort (satisfaction, Kirkpatrick level 1) reported 93% students’ satisfaction rate. 93% of the students passed module one (learning Kirkpatrick level 2) and 100% subscription to module two (return on investment Kirkpatrick level 5). Conclusion: For a successful model in distance learning in clinical medicine it is imperative to establish an effective supportive contact using a range of modalities in order to allow real-time reflective practice that is so crucial in enabling the students to learn from their own clinical experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-78
JournalWorld Journal of Education
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2017


  • distance learning
  • transplantation
  • and clinical education


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