The Role of E-Learning in Medical Education
E-learning will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the environment in which future medical students learn. The gradual shift towards e-learning is seen as a catalyst for applying adult learning theory, which will see more medical educators taking on the role of facilitator and assessor of competency.1 Most medical students view e-learning as enjoyable and effective but, interestingly, do not see it replacing traditional didactic methods.2 Indeed, e-learning is often a complement to instructor-led methods in a blended approach. Studies on nursing and medical students have demonstrated that satisfaction is consistently higher in a blended learning environment compared with a traditional lecture setting. However, this satisfaction is not correlated with test scores, where there is often no significant difference between the two pedagogic approaches.3,4 Further research is needed to establish the role of blended learning in medical education.
Medical educators should continue to engage with e-learning in an effort to come up with innovative approaches to train medical students. As a medical student, I can attest that new educational methods are always appreciated and have the potential to provide better engagement compared with traditional didacticism.