A UN report on eLearning concluded that eLearning is “as effective, or better, than Traditional Teaching”. Research commissioned by the World Health Organization, by researchers at Imperial College London found that wider use of e-learning might help make up for a global shortfall of 7.2 million health workers identified in a recent WHO report.
They found that students gain knowledge and skills through online and offline eLearning as well as or better than they do through traditional teaching. “There are still barriers that need to be overcome, such as access to computers, internet connections, and learning resources, and this could be helped by facilitating investments in ICT. Universities should encourage the development of eLearning curricula and use online resources to reach out to students internationally.”
The UN report on eLearning outlined the following advantages in relation to eLearning interventions: ease of access and flexibility, portability, improved student-teacher contact and discussions, and increased discussions with peers. They said that the use of electronic media and devices in education – already used by many universities and workplaces to allow “distance learning” to support campus- or office-based teaching – could enable greater access to education. The team carried out a systematic review of 108 existing studies to assess the effectiveness of e-learning for undergraduate health professional education.