Structured Online Neurosurgical Education as a Novel Method of Education Delivery in the Developing World
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OBJECTIVE: Transmission of knowledge to neurosurgical trainees in any environment is challenging, more so, in the developing world. Online education has the potential to maximize the cooperation within the international neurosurgical community. Our objective is to describe a model of online education that is sustainable and effective in the developed and developing world using advances in online technology. METHODS: This article starts by discussing the currently available online education methods such as listservs, online libraries, and modular courses. Subsequently, we discuss an innovative method of instruction that allows for a more interactive method of education delivery and is applicable to the developing world. RESULTS: Early data from the teaching of two courses suggests strongly positive results, with participation of faculty and residents in the discussion forum. The course management system used for course delivery also allows for objective measurements of participation, making it possible to keep accurate data that can be used to evaluate student and faculty performance. CONCLUSIONS: Structured online courses in neurosurgery allow for dynamic feedback, and delivery of educational material in a "time-locked" curriculum. Curriculum design facilitates neurosurgical education in the developing world through the creation of courses that fill specific needs or identify educational objectives.
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