UK respiratory trainees’ views about implementing e-learning into postgraduate training?

S.F. Smith, N.J. Roberts, M.R. Partridge

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


    Background: We have previously shown good acceptance of e-learning by undergraduates but more guarded acceptance by those in the first 3–4 years after graduation. This study specifically investigates respiratory SpRs’ views about implementing e-learning into their postgraduate education.
    Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews with specialist respiratory registrars were undertaken to discuss their views about medical postgraduate training and e-learning. Calls were recorded and interviews transcribed and themed.
    Results: 13 trainees took part (age 34±3 years; 11F, 2M). Ten (77%) were British medical school graduates and 6 (46%) graduated before 2000. All of the trainees stated that they had either minimal or no exposure to e-learning as undergraduates. All had internet access at home and 10 (77%) used the internet for educational purposes for 2–4 h per week. Three (23%) downloaded educational material to an iPod and 46% spent 2–4 h updating their knowledge per week. Nine (69%) thought that e-learning should be embedded into the training programme, although some suggested that initial piloting and training were required. Responses were varied (0–50%) when asked how many training days could be replaced by e-learning. Maintaining the social interaction of training days was emphasised, and need to use the full teaching day without gaps was highlighted. The ideal length of an e-module was thought to be <2 h (54%). Five (38.5%) suggested 2–4 h, but dependent on the topic and whether users could interrupt the module without loss. Nine (69%) thought that e-modules should be a compulsory component of postgraduate certification and, if this was put in place, 12 (92%) would complete the modules at home. Lack of free uninterrupted study time made e-learning difficult to complete at work. Specific diseases, bronchoscopic anatomy, physiology, lung function, radiology and interpretation of results were suggested as areas which would lend themselves to delivery via e-learning.
    Conclusions: Overall, postgraduates seem receptive to the positive benefits of using e-learning as part of their postgraduate training. However, the social interaction and face-to-face teaching on study days were highlighted as important. Most were willing to undertake e-learning in their own time, but as an adjunct rather than a replacement for training days.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberP208
    Issue numberIssue Suppl 4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


    • e-learning
    • postgraduate education
    • respiratory trainees
    • United Kingdom
    • UK


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