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PRACTICAL ADVICE PAPER
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 101-105

Creating a blended learning module in an online master study programme in oncology


1 Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
2 Leicester, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
3 Division of Learning and Teaching, Medical Faculty, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Benjamin Mayer
Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University Schwabstr. 13, 89075 Ulm
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.161951

Background: The medical faculty of Ulm University has launched the postgraduate master online study programme Advanced Oncology (AO) in 2010. We describe the challenges in developing an e-learning module using the example of a medical biometry course, focusing the implementation of the course material and our single-loop learning experience after the first students have finished and evaluated the lecture. Methods: Programme participants are qualified medical doctors and researchers in biomedical areas related to the field of oncology. The study programme provides the majority of lectures online via didactic videos accompanied by one-week attendance seminars. Supplementary learning materials include review articles, supportive reading material, multiple choice questions, and exercises for each unit. Lecture evaluations based on specific questions concerning learning environment and information learned, each measured on a five-point Likert scale. Results: Lecture videos were implemented following the classical triad of the didactic process, using oncological examples from practice to teach. The online tutorial support offered to students was hardly used, thus we enhanced faculty presence during the face-to-face seminars. Lecture evaluations improved after revising the learning material on the basis of the first AO student cohort's comments. Discussion: Developing and implementing an online study programme is challenging with respect of maximizing the information students learn due to limited opportunities for personal contact between lecturers and students. A more direct interaction of lecturers and students in a blended learning setting outperforms a mere web-based contact in terms of learning advantage and students' satisfaction, especially for complex methodological content.


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