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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 425

On-line Capacity-Building Program on "Analysis of Data" for Medical Educators in the South Asia Region: A Qualitative Exploration of our Experience

1 Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India, India
2 PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute, Coimbatore, India
3 Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Lalitpur, Nepal
4 Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
5 T.D.Medical College, Alappuzha, India
6 Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, India

Correspondence Address:
A R Dongre
Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Madagedipeth, Puducherry - 605 107
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21290362

Background and Objective: In medical education, using the World Wide Web is a new approach for building the capacity of faculty. However, there is little information available on medical education researchers' needs and their collective learning outcomes in such on-line environments. Hence, the present study attempted: 1)to identify needs for capacity-building of fellows in a faculty development program on the topic of data analysis; and 2) to describe, analyze and understand the collective learning outcomes of the fellows during this need-based on-line session. Material and Methods: The present research is based on quantitative (on-line survey for needs assessment) and qualitative (contents of e-mails exchanged in listserv discussion) data which were generated during the October 2009 Mentoring and Learning (M-L) Web discussion on the topic of data analysis. The data sources were shared e-mail responses during the process of planning and executing the M-L Web discussion. Content analysis was undertaken and the categories of discussion were presented as a simple non-hierarchical typology which represents the collective learning of the project fellows. Results: We identified the types of learning needs on the topic 'Analysis of Data' to be addressed for faculty development in the field of education research. This need-based M-L Web discussion could then facilitate collective learning on such topics as 'basic concepts in statistics', tests of significance, Likert scale analysis, bivariate correlation, and simple regression analysis and content analysis of qualitative data. Conclusions: Steps like identifying the learning needs for an on-line M-L Web discussion, addressing the immediate needs of learners and creating a flexible reflective learning environment on the M-L Web facilitated the collective learning of the fellows on the topic of data analysis. Our outcomes can be useful in the design of on-line pedagogical strategies for supporting research in medical education.

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