The challenge of online learning for medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic

JOHN SANDARS, Rakesh Patel

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

    21 Citations (Scopus)
    177 Downloads (Pure)


    The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education systems across the world has led to major and rapid changes in the provision of higher and medical education, with increasing delivery of the curriculum by online approaches. A recent synthesis of the global responses by universities to the COVID-19 pandemic noted that the majority of universities were using online learning, but with differences between countries in the rapidity and extent of the shift.1 These differences were attributed to the available resources, which included previous experience of using online learning and the availability of technology. However, the authors also noted that there were similar differences within countries and they highlighted that the current and urgent challenge for all universities was to ensure that the educational potential of online learning was optimised in each university. This is an important message that is also highly relevant to all medical education providers, from basic (undergraduate) to postgraduate and continuing. The editorial highlights the importance of iteratively designing online learning to ensure that the development, delivery and implementation of online learning are optimised to a specific local context. In addition, the editorial discusses the importance of medical educators sharing their approaches in designing online learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-170
    Number of pages2
    JournalInternational journal of medical education
    Early online date21 Aug 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


    • COVID-19
    • Online learning


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