How online coursework improves the educational attainments in clinical transplantation

A Halawa, A Sharma, JM Bridson, D Prescott, Sarah Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Introduction: Distance education is not yet popular in clinical medicine due to the strongly ingrained belief among medical professionals that face-to-face and bedside teaching is a pre-requisite to learning clinical medicine. Transplantation Science is a challenging subspecialty to teach and we demonstrate how our educational approach can be effective in improving the attainment of the postgraduate students.Methods: This online course was designed in the UK by an international board of academic and clinical expertsand attracted international students (n=28) from 12 countries.The diversity of the student demographics presents inherent challenges mainly due to a fundamental disparitybetween perception and implementation of the knowledge. We employed multi-disciplinary coursework as themain strategy to improve the attainment of these students to overcome these challenges.Results: The significant attainment changes noted by implementing multi-disciplinary coursework-basedpedagogy is exemplified by qualitative and quantitative improvement in performance in the final assessmentmarks when compared to the first assignment (66% ± 3.2 vs 56% ± 5.1, P <0.05). This improvement is reflectedin ‘habitual use’ of critically reflective practice and implementation of evidence-based medicine.Conclusions: Well-designed, multi-disciplinary formative coursework is a valuable tool to develop theattainment of postgraduate sub-specialty trainees perusing a career in clinical medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-61
JournalThe Online Journal of distance education and learning
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017


  • coursework
  • transplantation
  • attainment
  • online course and distance learning


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