Scientific article
Open access

E-learning modules to improve clinical reasoning and practice : a prospective comparative study

Published inMedEdPublish, no. 13, 39
First online date2024-01-05

Background: Controversy remains about whether e-learning can improve clinical competences. Our study aimed to compare the effects of e-learning versus traditional education on medical students' reasoning and how they applied their knowledge to clinical competences, assess factors associated with e-learning that might influence exam scores, and evaluate medical students' satisfaction with these two learning methods.

Methods: Prospective study of 299 medical students in two fourth-year pediatric clerkship cohorts (2016-17 and 2017-18) in Switzerland.

Results: We found no evidence of a difference in students' reasoning or how they applied their knowledge to competences in clinical case resolution, whether they had followed e-learning modules or attended traditional lectures. The number of quizzes taken and being female were factors associated with better scores. Even though overall satisfaction with the two learning methods was similar, students claimed that they learned more in e-learning than in traditional lectures and that e-learning explained learning objectives better.

Conclusions: E-learning could be used as a supplement or alternative to traditional face-to-face medical teaching methods without compromising teaching quality. E-learning modules should be better integrated into medical students' curricula but avoid the risk of curriculum overload, especially in case of repeated COVID-like context.

  • Clinical skills in pediatrics
  • E-learning
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Learning method
  • Medical education
  • Student satisfaction
  • Traditional lectures
Citation (ISO format)
STOLLAR, Fabiola et al. E-learning modules to improve clinical reasoning and practice : a prospective comparative study. In: MedEdPublish, 2024, n° 13, p. 39. doi: 10.12688/mep.19449.2
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2312-7996

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