How technology-enhanced experiential e-learning can facilitate the development of person-centred communication skills online for health-care students: a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic brought a new challenge to medical education—health-care students had fewer opportunities to interact with and treat real patients in clinical settings. Interpersonal communication skills are often developed through human interaction and communication in person, and few studies have proposed feasible digital solutions to develop learners’ communication skills. Consequently, understanding how medical teachers facilitate and implement online training programmes, with feasible instruments, to enhance students’ learning effectiveness when in-person training is not possible is critical. Methods: By using a convenience sampling method, we recruited 26 health-care students from seven medical schools in Taiwan. Through semistructured interviews and the thematic analysis technique, we analysed the latent learning factors from the experience of implementing the technology-enhanced experiential e-learning tool ‘mPath’. Results: Three themes were generated: A) transferring theory into practice, B) increasing authenticity with analytical features, and C) maintaining autonomy with nondirective learning. The features accessibility, flexibility, intractability, and visualisation with the characteristics of remote accessibility and flexibility, repetition and retrospect, feedback requesting, and visualised analytical reports were considered to enhance learning outcomes. Conclusion: This study indicated how online training using technology could develop the participants’ person-centred communication skills and what features influenced the learning outcomes of social distancing. mPath may be a feasible online learning approach and has provided inspiration for developing health-care students’ communication skills when in-person training is not possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Communication skills
  • COVID-19
  • E-learning
  • Medical education
  • Online learning
  • Person-centred approach
  • Qualitative study
  • Pandemics
  • Humans
  • Students, Medical
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Technology
  • Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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