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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2017 Jun 30;8:447-452. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S136348. eCollection 2017.

Effective learning environments - the process of creating and maintaining an online continuing education tool.

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Department of Anesthesia, Sinai Health System, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Department of Anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Continuing medical education (CME) is an indispensable part of maintaining physicians' competency. Since attending conferences requires clinical absenteeism and is not universally available, online learning has become popular. The purpose of this study is to conduct a retrospective analysis examining the creation process of an anesthesia website for adherence to the published guidelines and, in turn, provide an illustration of developing accredited online CME. Using Kern's guide to curriculum development, our website analysis confirmed each of the six steps was met. As well, the technical design features are consistent with the published literature on efficient online educational courses. Analysis of the database from 3937 modules and 1628 site evaluations reveals the site is being used extensively and is effective as demonstrated by the participants' examination results, content evaluations and reports of improvements in patient management. Utilizing technology to enable distant learning has become a priority for many educators. When creating accredited online CME programs, course developers should understand the educational principles and technical design characteristics that foster effective online programs. This study provides an illustration of incorporating these features. It also demonstrates significant participation in online CME by anesthesiologists and highlights the need for more accredited programs.


anesthesia; continuing medical education; online

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