Five-year review of an international clinical research-training program
Soares dos Santos, AC
Matsubayashi, Suely Reiko
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AbstractThe exponential increase in clinical research has profoundly changed medical sciences. Evidence that has accumulated in the past three decades from clinical trials has led to the proposal that clinical care should not be based solely on clinical expertise and patient values, and should integrate robust data from systematic research. As a consequence, clinical research has become more complex and methods have become more rigorous, and evidence is usually not easily translated into clinical practice. Therefore, the instruction of clinical research methods for scientists and clinicians must adapt to this new reality. To address this challenge, a global distance-learning clinical research-training program was developed, based on collaborative learning, the pedagogical goal of which was to develop critical thinking skills in clinical research. We describe and analyze the challenges and possible solutions of this course after 5 years of experience (2008-2012) with this program. Through evaluation by students and faculty, we identified and reviewed the following challenges of our program: 1) student engagement and motivation, 2) impact of heterogeneous audience on learning, 3) learning in large groups, 4) enhancing group learning, 5) enhancing social presence, 6) dropouts, 7) quality control, and 8) course management. We discuss these issues and potential alternatives with regard to our research and background.
Adv Med Educ Pract. 2015 Apr 1;6:249-57.