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ERIC Number: EJ807166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-0894-1912
Social Interaction and Participation: Formative Evaluation of Online CME Modules
Guan, Jianfei; Tregonning, Sarah; Keenan, Louanne
Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, v28 n3 p172-179 Sum 2008
Introduction: This exploratory study examines Canadian physicians' participation in online social activities and learning discussions, perceptions of online social closeness, barriers and motivators to participation, and perceptions of the impact of course duration and face-to-face meetings on learning. Methods: Formative evaluations were administrated to physicians participating in two online continuing medical education (CME) courses. Responses were recorded and calculated by the Blackboard Learning System[TM]. Content analysis was used to categorize comments and identify influencing factors. Online postings were counted to measure participation in the learning activities. Results: The participation rate of 158 physicians and 10 facilitators in online social activities was very low. Forty-five percent of responding participants reported that more time for discussion would help them learn more; 62% stated that the initial face-to-face meeting helped improve online social relations and increase peer interactions online. Thirty-five percent of respondents reported participating in online social activities, while 29% had no time to do so, and 18% were not interested in doing so. Thirty-five percent felt closer or more connected to their peers after two discussion sessions; 11% did not feel closer because of their low participation; and 16% did not feel closer because of inadequate peer interaction. On the two evaluations, 49% and 22% of respondents, respectively, perceived lack of time and social bonding as major barriers to participating in learning discussion. Discussion: Lack of time and peer response were given as the main reasons for low participation in social activity and learning discussions. Time and social bonding were major barriers to learning discussion. Course usefulness and participants' desire, commitment, and time management skills helped overcome barriers. Facilitators needed training in online systems and facilitation skills. Longer course duration and realistic pacing would probably foster more social interaction and greater course participation. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada