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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: E-learning programmes are increasingly offered in transfusion medicine (TM) education. The aim of this study was to explore facilitators and barriers to TM e-learning programmes, including assessment of learning outcomes and measures of effectiveness. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants selected from a prior survey and representing a diverse number of international e-learning programmes were invited to participate. A mixed methodology was employed, combining a survey and individual semi-structured one-on-one interviews. Interview data were analysed inductively to explore programme development, evaluation, and facilitators and barriers to implementation. RESULTS: Fourteen participants representing 13 institutions participated in the survey and 10 were interviewed. The e-learning programmes have been in use for a variable duration between 5 and 16 years. Funding sources varied, including government and institutional support. Learner assessment methods varied and encompassed multiple-choice-questions (n = 12), direct observation (n = 4) and competency assessment (n = 4). Most regional and national blood collection agencies rely on user feedback and short-term learning assessments to evaluate their programmes. Only one respondent indicated an attempt to correlate e-learning with clinical practices. Factors that facilitated programme implementation included support from management and external audits to ensure compliance with regulatory educational and training requirements. Barriers to programme implementation included the allocation of staff time for in-house development, enforcing compliance, keeping educational content up-to-date and gaining access to outcome data for educational providers. CONCLUSION: There is evidence of considerable diversity in the evaluation of e-learning programmes. Further work is needed to understand the ultimate impact of TM e-learning on transfusion practices and patient outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Vox Sang

Publication Date



E‐learning, online education, transfusion