An online course in clinical education - experiences of Australian clinicians

Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Dec;40(12):1000-3.


Aims: We aimed to understand clinicians' experience of online training in the area of clinical education.

Methods: We conducted semistructured in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 20 clinicians studying clinical education online. Interviews were transcribed verbatim into N-Vivo qualitative analysis software. Data were analysed against a template derived from open coding merged with a priori themes from a program logic model.

Results: Clinicians in this study found learning online convenient but there was a trade off between this convenience and developing an authentic online community of learners. Optional intensives were important for developing relationships with staff and other students. Clinicians faced significant time pressures when adding study to their busy workloads and lives. Protected study time, assistance with course fees, information technology support, facilitated discussion and a flexible approach to assignment submission dates were cited as useful.

Conclusion: Clinicians can develop as educators online if given appropriate time and support.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Australia
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internet / organization & administration
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires