MAMC Journal of Medical Sciences

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43--44

Challenges Associated With the Introduction of E-learning in Medical Education and Strategies to Counter Them


Saurabh R Shrivastava1, Prateek S Shrivastava2,  
1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Pondicherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Ammapettai, Kancheepuram - 603108, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Challenges Associated With the Introduction of E-learning in Medical Education and Strategies to Counter Them.MAMC J Med Sci 2019;5:43-44


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Challenges Associated With the Introduction of E-learning in Medical Education and Strategies to Counter Them. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Jul 4 ];5:43-44
Available from: https://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2019/5/1/43/257420


Full Text



Dear Editor,

E-learning has been acknowledged as an important aspect of the current undergraduate curriculum delivery, especially in the Indian settings, wherein reports of shortage of medical teachers have been reported time and again.[1] The adoption of the same within the medical colleges is expected to benefit both the teachers as well as the students and both of them can become a self-directed learner.[2] Nevertheless, the most important aspect is that it can provide information to the students beyond the specified timings of teaching in class and gives freedom to read and learn whenever they feel the need for the same.[3]

However, it is very important to understand that it cannot be considered as an alternative option for poor teaching-learning activities in a medical college.[2] The process of implementation or incorporation of e-learning within the existing curriculum is bound to have many challenges and at the same time it is quite possible that these challenges may differ from one institution to another.[2],[4] The first and the foremost issue is the lack of support from the management or administration in terms of financial allocation, licensing, and development of the required infrastructure to successfully implement e-learning.[4],[5] In addition, there can be challenges pertaining to the hardware or software, or inadequate and/or poorly skilled technical staff, as a result of which it becomes really difficult to sustain e-learning.[1],[2],[5]

The next issue is the resistance of the faculty members and their ignorance toward the need to update the existing teaching-­­learning methods and supplement the same with e-learning.[1],[2],[5] In addition, poorly sensitized faculty members, lack of confidence to implement e-learning, limited dedication (viz. time spent for the success of e-learning), and failure to motivate students to use the same are also important issues that have to be anticipated and properly dealt through timely sensitization and development of ownership.[4],[5] The subsequent challenge is with regard to the involvement of the medical students or their opinion of not shifting from the traditional methods, as e-learning has often been associated with time consumption.[2],[3] This can be easily handled by orienting the students about the ways in which e-learning can benefit and exposing them to the useful software (through which time management can be avoided).[1],[2],[3]

In addition, owing to the general consideration that it is difficult to measure outcome, assess the learning, or monitor the academic honesty of students, it has been difficult to initiate e-learning.[2],[3],[4] However, there are options available to monitor the same and these just require technical expertise to deal with the same.[2],[4] Finally, because of the lack of precise instructions to integrate e-learning into the curriculum, it is high time that suitable modifications can be made by the regulatory body.[1]

In conclusion, despite the multiple merits associated with e-learning and the immense scope in the field of medical education, multiple challenges exist from the perspective of different stakeholders. Thus, it is the need of the hour to sensitize all the stakeholders about the different aspects of e-learning to minimize these anticipated challenges and deal with them through better planning and a systematic approach.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Dhir SK, Verma D, Batta M, Mishra D. E-learning in medical education in India. Indian Pediatr 2017;54:871-7.
2Vaona A, Banzi R, Kwag KH, Rigon G, Cereda D, Pecoraro V et al. E-learning for health professionals. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018;1:CD011736.
3Obi IE, Charles-Okoli AN, Agunwa CC, Omotowo BI, Ndu AC, Agwu-Umahi OR. E-learning readiness from perspectives of medical students: a survey in Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 2018;21:293-300.
4Shahmoradi L, Changizi V, Mehraeen E, Bashiri A, Jannat B, Hosseini M. The challenges of E-learning system: higher educational institutions perspective. J Educ Health Promot 2018;7:116.
5Ritchie A. The Library’s role and challenges in implementing an e-learning strategy: a case study from northern Australia. Health Info Libr J 2011;28:41-9.