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Cost and value in e-learning: the perspective of the learner
  1. Kieran Walsh
  1. BMJ Publishing Group, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kieran Walsh, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, UK; kmwalsh{at}bmj.com

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Introduction

Medical education is expensive. Its expense has led to growing interest in methods to deliver medical education that will maximise outcomes for a given spend.1 There has long been enthusiasm for the use of e-learning as a method that can be low cost and that can deliver worthwhile outcomes. However, this enthusiasm has not been built on strong evidence. There is evidence that e-learning produces broadly similar outcomes as face-to-face education.2 However, there is little evidence as to the cost utility of e-learning in medical education. There is also little evidence as to how learners perceive the utility of e-learning in light of its cost. This paper reports an evaluation of the perceptions and views of general practitioners (GPs) with regard to the cost and utility of an e-learning resource—BMJ Learning.

Methods

BMJ Learning is the e-learning service of the BMJ. UK GPs who are users of BMJ Learning were asked by email to take part in an evaluation as to the cost and utility of the e-learning. Semistructured interviews were conducted by telephone with those who responded to the email. The interviews were conducted according to a schedule which was founded on existing literature …

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