Online learning in proton radiation therapy: the future in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era?
Kirkby, Karen J
Mackay, Ranald I
AffiliationThe Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractObjective: The Covid-19 pandemic placed unprecedented strain on medical education and led to a vast increase in online learning. Subsequently, the Christie International Proton School moved from face-to-face to online. Delegate feedback and current literature were studied to determine benefits, challenges, and potential solutions, for online proton therapy education. Methods: The course was converted to a 6-week online course with twice weekly 2-h sessions. Feedback was studied pre-, during-, and post-course regarding demographics, learning objectives, proton therapy knowledge, ease of engagement, technical difficulties, and course format. Statistical analyses were performed for proton therapy knowledge pre- and post-course. Results: An increase in delegate attendance was seen with increased international and multidisciplinary diversity. Learner objectives included treatment planning, clinical applications, physics, and centre development. Average learner reported scores of confidence in proton therapy knowledge improved significantly from 3, some knowledge, to 4, adequate knowledge after the course (p<0.0001). There were minimal reported difficulties using the online platform, good reported learner engagement, and shorter twice weekly sessions were reported conducive for learning. Recordings for asynchronous learning addressed time zone difficulties. Conclusion: The obligatory switch to online platforms has catalysed a paradigm shift towards online learning with delegates reporting educational benefit. We propose solutions to challenges of international online education, and a pedagogical model for online proton therapy education. Advances in knowledge: Online education is an effective method to teach proton therapy to international audiences. The future of proton education includes a hybrid of online and practical face-to-face learning depending on the level of cognitive skill required.
CitationCroxford W, France A, Clarke M, Hewitt L, Kirkby K, Mackay R, et al. Online learning in proton radiation therapy: the future in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era? BJR open. 2021;3(1):20210054. PubMed PMID: 36016699. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC9364368 financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. Epub 2022/08/27. eng.