Transfusion Medicine Online Learning

The object of this educational research project was to determine if a case-based, self-directed e-learning module could effectively supplement core learning objectives in the health sciences program. Our partner was the Faculty of Health Sciences of the McMaster University.

The VDI team worked with Doctors Anthony Levinson, Sarah Garside, and Kathryn Webert from McMaster to create a web-based e-learning course to teach principles of transfusion medicine. This is an interdisciplinary topic that frequently “slips through the cracks” of the curriculum.

The project integrated elements of learning theory and instructional design that were consistent with new MD curriculum goals. These included:

  • Literature search and expert consensus to identify content objectives and core concepts.
  • An e-tutor to promote guided discovery within a tutorial mode.
  • An interactive interface to promote active learning.
  • Pre-tests to orient learners and measure their prior learning as well as measures of their confidence.
  • A problem-based/case-based approach.
  • Interactive elements such as clinical pearls and key facts.
  • Animations of key concepts and mechanisms.
  • Mini-cases to buttress learning through elements of deliberate and mixed practice.
  • Practical clinical issues to aid integration into practice (e.g. Writing orders, obtaining informed consent).
  • Post-tests for self-evaluation of the learner’s new knowledge and level of confidence in that knowledge.
  • Funding for this research project was partly supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer Healthcare.

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