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Contemporary pedagogy within surgical education websites: a review of the literature

Author(s): Jain B. Pillai | Reg Dennick

Journal: International Journal of Medical Education
ISSN 2042-6372

Volume: 3;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: web learning | internet learning | pedagogy | surgical education | medical education

Objectives: To investigate if current surgical web based education provides appropriate learning experiences, viewed through the frameworks of contemporary pedagogy. Methods: Using defined exclusion and inclusion criteria, we searched the medical literature for papers on surgical web education. We analysed the instructional designs and web utilities to uncover the pedagogical frameworks underpinning the teaching and learning experiences used. Results: Twenty five eligible studies were analysed and descriptive summary statistics were produced. Traditional teacher-centred behaviourist pedagogy underpinned 52(n=12) of the studies. Socio-constructive pedagogy that fosters dialogue, collaboration and co-construction of knowledge was seen in 21(n=5). A humanistic context was seen in 21(n=5). Learner generated content was present in 9(n=2). Examples of good web implementation of various pedagogic frameworks are described. Conclusions: Pedagogic shortcomings and underutilisation of Web 2.0 technology are revealed in current web surgical education. Educators must shift away from the traditional focus on teacher centred content delivery. The web remains impersonal. Social constructivism, collaboration and two way communications need more focus. We propose some recommendations and suggest that these should apply to any medical education website for pedagogic rigour. These highlight the exciting opportunities for future research in assessing educationally balanced web technology as a solution for consistent 'out of operating room' training in surgery amidst increasing service commitments.
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