How to successfully implement E-learning for both students and teachers

M. Gotthardt, M. Siegert, A. Schlieck, S. Schneider, A. Kohnert, M. Gross, C. Schäfer, R. Wagner, S. Hörmann, T. Behr, R. Engenhart-Cabillic, K. Klose, H. Jungclas and U. Glowalla
Mar, 2006


Electronic learning (e-learning) may provide a means to enhance learning efficacy. However, introduction of e-learning often fails. We describe a strategy of how an e-learning curriculum was successfully implemented.The curriculum was designed based on published evidence. It consists of self-directed learning, an online discussion forum, and discussion rounds. The e-content in nuclear medicine and radiotherapy was produced by the k-MED team of medical authors, web designers, and psychologists. The online courses were delivered via a dedicated learning management system. The e-content for diagnostic radiology and physics was provided as PDF/HTML script by the respective teachers who objected to participate in the k-MED project. The exam was taken online. Online evaluation of the curriculum by the students was taken at the end of the course.The new curriculum proved very effective. The time for the preparation for the clinical part of the radiology course could be reduced from 4 to 2 weeks. The students particularly enjoyed the self-directed learning. Although the material provided by k-MED received 90\%-99\% positive scores, the HTML and PDF scripts scored worse (13\%-67\% positive ratings). The positive results of the evaluation convinced the teachers responsible for physics and diagnostic radiology to participate in k-MED.As our example shows, new e-learning curricula can successfully be introduced. The strategy of implementation should be based on the existing evidence from the literature. The new curriculum helped to increase the efficacy of teaching and save time as the duration of the respective part of the course could be reduced by half.