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Is a blended learning approach effective for learning in allied health clinicians?

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Abstract

Background: An increase in demand for professional development activities amongst the allied health workforce has seen the emergence of new technology-based training delivery methods. Blended learning, involving a combination of the traditional face-to-face teaching with the use of e-learning, is one emerging approach to the provision of professional development activities in allied health. Objectives: This systematic review investigated the questions: ‘What is the effect on learning of a blended learning model of training delivery method for allied health clinicians?’ and, ‘From the perspective of stakeholders, what are the advantages, disadvantages and recommendations for successful implementation of a blended learning model of training delivery method for allied health clinicians?’ Methods: Eighteen databases were searched from inception. Only English language publications describing quantitative research (systematic reviews or primary quantitative studies) were included. All studies were appraised using the CASP critical appraisal tool (CAT) for Systematic Reviews and the McMaster CAT for Quantitative studies. Results: Four Systematic Reviews and 14 primary studies describing quantitative data were included. The literature indicates that there was weak evidence regarding improved outcomes from blended learning interventions, compared with other educational models. Conclusions: Whilst blended learning has advantages in terms of flexibility of learning, and economies of scale, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to optimizing the learning outcomes, no matter what the teaching and learning environment. A range of strategies for the effective provision of blended learning activities from the literature is provided.

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Milanese, S. F., Grimmer-Somers, K., Souvlis, T., Innes-Walker, K., & Chipchase, L. S. (2014). Is a blended learning approach effective for learning in allied health clinicians? Physical Therapy Reviews. Taylor and Francis Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1179/1743288X13Y.0000000113

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