Synchronous distance learning as an effective and feasible method for delivering residency didactics

Fam Med. 2005 Sep;37(8):570-5.


Background and objectives: Providing effective multisite didactic teaching in residency programs remains a challenge. There is limited evidence regarding the educational equivalency of the traditional and distance learning methods for delivery of didactics. We introduced a synchronous two-way audio and video Internet-transmitted distance learning methodology in two sites. The study assessed both residents' satisfaction and knowledge gain at the face-to-face lecture site as compared with the distance learning site.

Methods: The study was conducted over 1 year at the Wayne State University family medicine residency program, involving all 36 residents. Seventeen distance learning sessions were conducted, and the results from the lecture and distance learning sites were evaluated.

Results: The didactic sessions were rated highly by both groups, with no significant differences on the resident satisfaction survey. The distance learning method was received positively by learners. The residents in both groups scored higher on posttests compared to the pretests, and there was no statistical difference in knowledge gain between the lecture and the distance learning group.

Conclusions: Synchronous interactive instructor-led distance learning is an effective method for delivering residency didactics at more than one site. The new technology is well accepted by learners and is a promising approach to multi-site education.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Family Practice / education
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Physicians, Family / education*
  • Reproducibility of Results