Friday, July 17, 2015

e-Learning: An Era of Innovation

As I head into my last couple day at mdBriefCase, I reflect on how fast these past 5 weeks have gone. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience a rotation in such a unique environment, with such a great team of people. I learned a lot about medical writing and content development, but I also learned what goes into getting all of the content we see on mdBriefCase’s websites. Week by week, I was exposed to more and more pieces of the puzzle, and by the end everything made sense and came together. 

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the e-Learning Alliance of Canadian Hospital (eACH) Conference. I participated in sessions on innovations in learning and ways to engage your learner. In the spirit of the conference and my entire mdBriefCase rotation, I decided to write my last blog on the benefits and barriers to e-Learning.

The Benefits

 Healthcare professionals are required to complete several course credits every year in order to maintain their status as an active practitioner.1 This is so important because what is considered a “best practice” in the profession of healthcare can change drastically.  Traditional classroom approaches are associated with many drawbacks, such as high costs, lack of time, and failure to keep up with the quickly changing trends.1

Delivering continuing education material online eliminates all three of these drawbacks. e-Learning is a timely, remote, cost-effective way of delivering continuing education.1 It allows healthcare professionals to take courses at their own pace, whenever they can fit them into their busy schedules. It involves very low costs to setup, update, and run compared to traditional classroom-based courses.1 e-Learning can also be a more effective way of learning, incorporating many different learning styles into the delivery of the content and enabling more of an interactive learning experience.

The Barriers

The barriers mainly surround the integration of e-Learning into practice and shifting people’s mindsets from traditional styles of learning to more modern ways of learning. e-Learning challenges us to think about innovative ways to deliver content, while still being able to get the main message across. Like anything else in healthcare (and in life), implementing and undergoing change can be challenging. However, with something as big as technology, it is going to evolve over time whether we want it to or not. Look at the evolution of cell phones and computers. These devices can practically outsmart us now. 

Learning is a lifelong process, and finding new ways to deliver content to keep learners engaged is rapidly advancing, so we better get used to it!


  1. Andriotis, N. (2014). E-learning in the healthcare industry. Retrieved from:
  2. David, O., Salleh, M., & Iahad, N. The impact of E-learning in workplace: focus on organizations and healthcare environments. International Arab Journal of e-Technology. 2012; 2(4): 203-208.