A Randomized Trial of eLearning for Hospital Trust Induction of Doctors

Muhammad Ali, Alan Osborne, Susan Nutland, Joe Unsworth


The induction of doctors to a new hospital is mandatory and includes the work-based
assessment of mandatory knowledge. It has been delivered traditionally by lectures with
recently increasing trend to deliver by electronic learning (eLearning). We compared
eLearning and lectures for induction of hospital doctors by randomizing them into a Lecture
Group (LG) and eLearning Group (eLG) using an opaque envelope technique. The LG
attended lectures on their induction day while the eLG performed their induction using
eLearning prior to joining the trust. The curriculum was the same for both groups. Primary
and secondary outcomes were measured by the number of correct answers for all six modules’
work-based assessment using multiple choice questions and by a questionnaire to assess the
attitudes of the doctors who underwent eLearning towards their induction respectively.
All 133 doctors joining the NHS trust of 2 teaching hospitals over a five month period were
included with no exclusion criteria. There were 63 individuals in the LG and 70 doctors in the
eLG with no statistically significant differences in demographics. Improved learning
outcomes were seen in the eLG in 5 of the 6 modules (p<0.01). The eLearning was popular
amongst the participants however they found it difficult to complete eLearning modules
before joining the trust and perceived this as an extra burden. Our results indicate that an
increase in the contribution of eLearning to the curriculum may improve learning outcomes
in the medical workplace and can increase doctor availability on the first day in a new

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v7i1.6547

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