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Medical Student Perceptions of Self-Paced, Web-Based Electives: A Descriptive Study

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American Journal of Distance Education Volume 23, Number 4, ISSN 0892-3647


A first-of-its-kind course at The George Washington University was taught entirely online using a self-paced, modular, case-based multispecialty format. Data on student perceptions of the course were obtained through a Web-based survey administered to students who had completed the course. Close-ended questions were analyzed using basic descriptive statistics in order to determine frequency of responses, whereas open-ended questions were analyzed thematically. Students reported having a favorable experience with the self-paced online course, with flexibility being the major benefit reported by respondents. Students in this asynchronous course perceived the two greatest challenges in online learning to be (1) decreased opportunity for social interaction and (2) technological barriers. (Contains 4 tables.)


May, L., Acquaviva, K.D., Dorfman, A. & Posey, L. (2009). Medical Student Perceptions of Self-Paced, Web-Based Electives: A Descriptive Study. American Journal of Distance Education, 23(4), 212-223. Retrieved March 26, 2019 from .

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