The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Pauline Williams-Green

Challenges of the distance modality for postgraduate training in family medicine

Pauline Williams-Green
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, The University of the West Indies

Tomlin Paul
Community Health and Psychiatry

Affette McCaw-Binns
Community Health and Psychiatry

     Full text: HTML
     Last modified: October 16, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 4:15 PM in NT Manchester
     (View Schedule)

In September 2001, the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies launched postgraduate training in family medicine delivered by distance. This programme was aimed at the working physician and utilised multiple modalities for the teaching-learning transactions. This paper describes an initial evaluation of the programme.

The initial two years of the MSc. In Family Medicine were evaluated by participants as well as stakeholders in the programme. This took the form of focus groups followed by a plenary session where the focus groups made their reports. The groups explored the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the programme. This paper addresses the strengths and weaknesses identified by the group.

The main strength of the programme recognized by the groups was the distance modality of teaching. They also commended the instructional design. The chief weakness identified was the cost of the course. It was also felt that support for the learners needed improvement.

The discussions terminated in a number of recommendations. The chief recommendation was to develop a policy proposal for presentation to CARICOM on the postgraduate training of family physicians as a requirement for General/ Family Practice.

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