Taking it online: What to expect as you build online learning modules




Poster session 2 Thursday: Evidence synthesis - methods / improving conduct and reporting


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

Sambunjak D1, Cumpston M1, Watts C1, Dwan K2, Higgins J3, Lasserson T2, Lefebvre C4, Page M5, Santesso N6, Vale L7
1 Cochrane Learning and Support Department, United Kingdom
2 Cochrane Editorial Unit, United Kingdom
3 Professor of Evidence Synthesis, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
4 Co-Convenor, Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group, United Kingdom
5 Research Fellow, University of Bristol, UK and Monash University, Australia, Australia
6 Assistant Professor, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Canada
7 Chair Campbell & Cochrane Economics Methods Group, United Kingdom
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Dario Sambunjak

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Delivering effective training in systematic review methodology to an international audience is a challenge. Self-directed online learning modules are often used to deliver such training.
Objectives: To review the experiences and lessons learned for Cochrane's Learning and Support Department in developing online learning courses, for the benefit of those embarking on similar initiatives.
Methods: Two major online learning projects have been conducted in 2016-17 to support Cochrane learners across the globe:
•A set of 5 short modules on 'Common errors in production of Cochrane Reviews' enhancing skills of Cochrane Editors, produced mostly in-house.
•A major revision of Cochrane’s introductory online learning course authors of systematic reviews, with 9 large modules developed in partnership with Cochrane Methods Groups and an e-learning company
Gomo and Adapt authoring tools used to enable development of multi-device, interactive online learning resources that can be easily edited and updated.

Results: The process of developing learning content and designing online learning resources was considerably time and resource intensive, even where working with external e-learning developers.
Implementing e-learning authoring tools requires substantial time and effort, but has benefits in assisting learning design, editing final resources and developing new projects. Design of online learning requires specific expertise in effective learner engagement, instructional and visual design, and design of assessments. Detailed preparation of learning content is needed before the work of design and building into interactive online learning can commence. Engaging and managing contributions from stakeholders requires dedicated project management. Collection and management of data on learner activity requires careful planning, including access and certification to more complex learner pathways and evaluation of online learning resources. Cochrane established a parallel project to implement a Learning Record Store to manage such data.
Conclusions: Developing online learning is complex and resource-intensive, requiring specialist knowledge and detailed planning