gms | German Medical Science

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

15.09. - 17.09.2022, Halle (Saale)

Evaluation of an online blended learning course for faculty development in basic medical education

Meeting Abstract

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  • presenting/speaker Jan Breckwoldt - Universität Zürich, Institut für Anästhesiologie, Zürich, Schweiz

Gemeinsame Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA) und des Arbeitskreises zur Weiterentwicklung der Lehre in der Zahnmedizin (AKWLZ). Halle (Saale), 15.-17.09.2022. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2022. DocV-22-03

doi: 10.3205/22gma146, urn:nbn:de:0183-22gma1468

Published: September 14, 2022

© 2022 Breckwoldt.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: To qualify for promotion for a “venia legendi” at the University of Zurich (i.e. academic career step before gaining professorship) candidates must have completed a 20 hrs course in basic medical education. This course was held face-to-face over 2 days before the COVID-19 pandemic and was now transferred to a blended learning format including online self-learning and ‘flipped learning’ webinar phases. Aim was to counteract the downsides of online learning (e.g. the lack of direct interaction) with the advantages of flexible and self-regulated learning.

Methods: The course included 3 live online modules of 2-2.5 hrs, 8 self-learning modules of 30-60 min, and (variable) preparation times. The total learning time was roughly equal to the original face-to-face course. Content wise, basic educational concepts (such as outcome orientation, “constructive alignment”, “cognitive load theory”, feedback delivery, assessment, and digital learning) were presented, discussed, and finally practiced in a “microteaching” session (with structured feedback). Evaluation was performed

by a pre-post MCQ on medical education content (max. score, 12 pts), and
by a questionnaire on satisfaction which was compared to the results of the original face-to-face course.

Results: From April to July 2021, 83 participants successfully completed the course. Participants rated the course (on a Likert-like scale from 0 to 5) for overall satisfaction with 4.60 (SD 0.8), practical applicability: 4.52 (SD 0.7), and learning climate: 4.80 (SD 0.7). This compared to 4.30 (SD 0.8), 4.10 (SD 0.9), and 4.60 (SD 0.5) in the original face-to-face version, respectively. The pre-course score of correct answers was 6.13 pts (SD 1.9), the post-course score was 8.94 (SD 1.8), p<.0001. Resources for producing the material and establishing the online learning environment accounted for approx.140 hrs, in addition, 80 hrs of teaching were given (see figure 1 [Fig. 1]).

Discussion: A course in basic medical education can be successfully delivered as a blended-learning format. The course provided a cost-efficient, flexible alternative in times of a pandemic. However, practicing of essential didactic skills was not possible (such as direct teacher-student interaction). In the (non-pandemic) future, a hybrid version might further advance the course.

Take home messages: The online blended-learning course presented was a feasible and considerable alternative to the existing face-to-face version.