Research Article: Evaluation of a National Online Educational Program in Geriatric Psychiatry

Date Published: June 25, 2015

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Author(s): Marcus Law, Mark J. Rapoport, Dallas Seitz, Marla Davidson, Robert Madan, Andrew Wiens.


This study provides evaluation results of an online study group (OSG) for geriatric psychiatry continuing professional development.

The OSG is an interactive, expert-facilitated, asynchronous educational experience for psychiatrists and residents in Canada. A retrospective web survey assessed self-efficacy, knowledge in geriatric psychiatry, comfort with online learning, and perceived effectiveness of the instructional methods. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and descriptive statistics were calculated.

Twenty-nine (of 50) participants (58 %) completed the questionnaire. Although only 48 % of respondents reported improved perceived knowledge, 79 % reported improved efficacy beliefs, and 76 % reported improved comfort with online learning. Most (79 %) would consider taking OSG again, and 93 % would recommend it to others.

The OSG was well-received, with greater benefits for self-efficacy with the material and comfort with online learning than for perceived knowledge itself. Further research is needed to ascertain actual knowledge change in the context of online learning in medical education.

Partial Text

The OSG was well-received, with benefits of improved efficacy beliefs and comfort with online learning for most participants, and to a much lesser extent, perceived knowledge of geriatric psychiatry. In e-Learning for health professionals, interactivity, practice exercises, and feedback have been demonstrated to improve learning outcomes, while satisfaction increases with interactivity and online discussion [7]. These reflect the OSG’s pedagogical approaches.