Videoconferencing in the In-Service Education of Health Care Staff in Northern Finland

H. Alatalo, R.-L. Kortesluoma, M.-L. Kuusimäki, and J. Moring (Finland)


Videoconferencing, distance training, video-based distance education


In-service education in the form of real-time video-based lectures began to be provided by several clinics of Oulu University Hospital (OUH) as early as 1997.The purpose of this study, which was carried out in the special care district of OUH, was to produce knowledge about video based education as part of the in-service education of health care staff in 2004 – 2005. The following research questions were addressed: 1) What is the current status of video-based distance education in Northern Finland’s hospital districts? 2) How can video-based distance education be applied to in-service training of health care staff? 3) How should video-based distance education be implemented to make it pedagogically relevant? 4) What aspects of video-based distance education should be developed? Empirical data for a qualitative case study were collected through thematic interviews in January– February 2005. The interviewees consisted of seven clinical professionals, mostly doctors (of internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry and dermatology) with experience of the application of video-based distance education to in-service training. Based on the results, the current status of video-based distance education is good, and both teachers and students have positive attitudes towards it. The most imminent challenge is to increase the interactivity of video-based distance education and to develop advance distribution of learning materials.

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