Concluding week – future perspectives

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” Bill Gates 1996

I believe this quote can be applied to e-learning, a term that existed since 1999 but the concept of distance learning has been around for centuries.

This excellent course have in different ways presented a lot of advantages and possibilities regarding e-learning. The most important thing for me is how to use online tools to deliver content in an attractive way that I could not have imagine ten years ago. However, I think that I after this course overestimate the changes that will occur in e-learning within the next couple of years and how it will change me as a teacher. The previous sentence is a compliment to this course and the work of my own and other PBL-groups

I believe that to develop as a teacher and learn more about e-learning it is important to gain experience and try out different techniques but also learn techniques and strategies from pedagogical courses like the ONL.

Medical education is very visual, related to practical learning and tacit knowledge. Most of it can at the moment not be replaced by e-learning but this course have inspired me how to use e-learning in medical education for the flipped classroom. I feel that I after ONL gained basic knowledge to prepare the students with online lectures/content and make the students collaborate in online discussions as a part of blended learning. A direct result of this course is that I will use PeerWise as a part of the preparation for my next course. The idea is to let the students to create course related assessment questions, and to answer and discuss questions created by their peers before the course starts.

Enormous amount of resources and time are spent on e-learning but where are the evidence that it is more effective than traditional forms of teaching? The concept of e-learning is also too broad, there is a huge difference between this course and a MOOC with 100,000 students. This has to be considered in the discussion and evaluation of the benefits and drawbacks of  e-learning. Unless relevant outcomes are systematically measured by those using e-learning in medical education, we will never be able to tell apart successes and failures.

I probably underestimate the changes that will occur in e-learning the next ten years. But due to the increasing role of technology in facilitating the communication of medical information, it seems inevitable that new concepts as smart glasses using virtual and augmented reality will have a role to play in medical education at a near point in the future.




2 thoughts on “Concluding week – future perspectives

  1. I greatly enjoyed reading your blog, and that is an excellent quote from Bill Gates which is very inspirational in imagining what the future will look like in 10 years… not only limited to eLearning, but very appropriate indeed to think about the future of eLearning. I like the idea that fruitful progress needs a reasonable amount of time to develop, and therefore I like to think in 10 years rather than 2 to imagine a time when eLearning is indeed helpful and productive. As we are not there yet, I believe we should still promote traditional ways of learning, where students are not allowed to be permanently ”online” and suffering from ”fear of missing out” or ”FoMO”, which is I think detrimental and not beneficial to learning. While research on online pedagogy is still ongoing, it is not wise to entirely replace traditional with online learning, I completely agree. Thanks for the cautious words.


  2. Hi Johan, I greatly appreciated your blog! However, I think you underestimate the power in e-learning. To me, much of the theoretical parts in the medical training (eg. pre-clinical) could be done by e-learning or blended learning. Of course there are major parts in clinical training that need physical presence, but once done, re-iterations could be done by the web. Even social capacity and team building is possible to achieve in large e-learning groups, in my experience. So, while I greatly appreciate your citation of Bill Gates, I believe we will see wonders in web-learning the next decade and beyond 🙂



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