Introduction To compare the impact of an e-learning package with theoretical teaching on the ability of both graduate and undergraduate medical students to learn the management of supraventricular tachycardia.
Methods We conducted a randomised, controlled, study at two Welsh medical schools. Participants were graduate-entry and undergraduate medical students, who were randomised (in a 1:1 ratio) to either 1 hour of training using an e-learning package or an hour of lecture-based teaching. The outcome was a comparison, within each group and between groups, of median scores achieved in assessments of knowledge through completion of preintervention, immediate post intervention and 2 weeks postintervention questionnaires.
Results Of the 97 participants available for randomisation, 47 underwent teaching using the e-learning package and 50 were taught in the lecture group. Median scores were higher in the e-learning package group than the lecture group, though this difference was not statistically significant (4.00 vs 3.00; p=0.08) immediately after intervention. At 2 weeks post intervention, median scores in the e-learning package group were significantly higher than the median scores in the lecture group (4.00 vs 3.00; p=0.002). This was despite a subanalysis of the results demonstrating that subjects in the lecture group reported having seen more cases compared with those in the e-learning group (32 vs 13; p=0.002). Further, there was a significant fall in score over 2 weeks in the group receiving lecture-based teaching, but no such decrease in those using the e-learning package.
Conclusion E-learning seems to be the preferred method of learning and the method that confers longer retention time for both postgraduate and undergraduate medical students.
- accident & emergency medicine
- medical education & training
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Contributors KM, HNH and CW developed the idea and designed the project. KM, MP, CS and WT participated in data collection. HNH participated in data analysis. KM generated the first draft of the paper. HNH and CW reviewed the draft and amended it. All authors approved the final version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Ethical approval was deemed unnecessary by the Swansea Bay University Health Board Local Research Ethics Committee who reviewed the study protocol. That being said, participation was voluntary, and not a requirement for attendance at the weekend educational event. Participants were able to withdraw their consent at any time, on the understanding that they would not have to provide a reason for withdrawal, and that under such circumstances their data would be removed from the study. In the end, 45 of 142 attendees elected not to participate.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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