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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2020 Feb 19;11:139-146. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S231651. eCollection 2020.

Exploring Adult Learners' Viewpoints and Motivation Regarding Distance Learning in Medical Education.

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Department of Educational Policies,College of Education, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Literature in education and training supports the notion that distance learning (DL) is the most effective mode of learning for health care workers to improve the quality of patient care. However, implementing DL requires pre-assessing learners' perspectives and attitudes for providing better delivery, essential support, and facilities. This study aimed to identify the viewpoints and attitudes of dental graduates toward DL in medical education and their point views of the effectiveness and efficacy of DL tools.


A structured, self-administered questionnaire was distributed to registered adult graduates working in government- or private hospitals in a permanent position or for a long term (3 months or more). Data were collected and analyzed.


Two-thirds (67.9%) of the participants had previously attended a DL course. The highest ranked items on the participants' views on DL were ease of access, ability to take the course from any location, and be taught from anywhere in the world. Their perception of DL was analyzed in relation to gender and previous exposure to DL.


This investigation revealed a positive attitude among graduates on the effectiveness of DL. Most respondents appreciated DL's convenience in terms of time flexibility and online attendance. Residents' attitudes toward DL and DL characteristics are major factors to consider when instituting or planning for DL. Continuous medical education through DL will continue to generate considerable interest as an international movement.


continuous education; distance learning; healthcare

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