Disaster Medicine Online: evaluation of an online, modular, interactive, asynchronous curriculum

CJEM. 2002 Nov;4(6):408-13. doi: 10.1017/s1481803500007910.


Canada has no formal training program in disaster medicine for health care professionals. The University of Alberta's Division of Emergency Medicine has developed a means to fill the gap. Disaster Medicine Online (DMO) is an Internet-based, interactive, facilitator-guided distance-learning course on the fundamentals of disaster medicine. The 3-week pilot of DMO was offered in March 2002 and taken by a multidisciplinary group of 22 health care professionals, including resident and attending physicians, paramedics and nurses. Evaluation of the learning materials and educational methodology by experts and learners demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction with the Web interface, site usability, lesson content and format, and the interactive components of the online course. Learners reported spending a mean of 11.2 hours (range = 5-20) over the 3-week course period. Twenty of 22 learners completed the final assignment, and all 20 were successful in passing the course. Overall, 95% of learners said they would pursue another module if offered, and 100% would recommend DMO to their colleagues. DMO is a viable option for health care professionals who would like to pursue continuing medical education in this area without having to take time out of their personal and professional lives to travel to a face-to-face, traditional educational program.