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Table 1 Traditional and blended learning course summary

From: Training community healthcare workers on the use of information and communication technologies: a randomised controlled trial of traditional versus blended learning in Malawi, Africa

  Traditional learning Blended learning
Interventions 5-day class-based “Introduction to ICT and eHealth” course 3-week blended learning “Introduction to ICT and eHealth” course
Theory Bloom’s taxonomy Bloom’s taxonomy, mixed rotation model
Learning objectives To equip HSAs and Senior HSAs with knowledge and skills to use computers, tablets and smartphones in their everyday practice, as well as to advance their understanding of the potential of e/mHealth in health care provision and public health policy To equip HSAs and Senior HSAs with knowledge and skills to use computers, tablets and smartphones in their everyday practice, as well as to advance their understanding of the potential of e/mHealth in health care provision and public health policy
Content Introduction to computers, tablets and smartphones; Computer skills; Introduction to eHealth; Introduction to mHealth; Use of community and facility-based data in decision making Introduction to computers, tablets and smartphones; Computer skills; Introduction to eHealth; Introduction to mHealth; Use of community and facility-based data in decision making
Materials PowerPoint slides, computers, tablets and smartphones PowerPoint slides, computers, tablets and smartphones
Educational strategies Lectures, seminars, tutor-led training workshops Seminars, eLearning workshops, off-site mLearning
Incentives Travel, catering and accommodation costs Travel, catering and accommodation costs
Instructors Faculty from Imperial College London and Mzuzu University, Senior staff from Luke International Faculty from Imperial College London and Mzuzu University, Senior staff from Luke International
Delivery Face-to-face (1:19 instructor/learner ratio) Face-to-face (1:20 instructor/learner ratio), e/mLearning
Environment University lab University lab, community
Schedule 19 sessions (opening, 6 lectures, 7 seminars, 4 tutor-led training workshops, discussion, closing), delivered over 5 days (9 am-5 pm Monday-Friday), lasting between 1 and 2 h each (total learning hours = 31), with 15-min breaks between sessions and 1 h lunch break each day 19 sessions (opening, 5 mLearning sessions, 7 seminars, 1 tutor-led and 3 eLearning workshops, discussion, closing), delivered over 3 weeks (Week 1: 9 am-5 pm Monday-Tuesday, Week 2: 2 h per day Monday-Friday, Week 3: 9 am-5 pm Tuesday), lasting between 1 and 2 h each (total learning hours = 31), with 15-min breaks between sessions and 1 h lunch break each day
Face-to-face time 31 h face-to-face time 21 h face-to-face time, 10 h independent study
Adaptations To maximize the benefit for learners a bilingual research assistant was present at all times To maximize the benefit for learners a bilingual research assistant was present during all face-to-face sessions (including the on-site eLearning sessions) and available via phone on the days of the mLearning sessions, and an offline mLearning module was designed due to network connectivity limitations
Modifications None None
Attendance Participants were required to sign an attendance sheet at the beginning and end of each day. Of the 20 participants assigned, 19 attended the course Participants were required to sign an attendance sheet at the beginning and end of each class-based day. For the off-site learning sessions, participants were required to respond to daily telephone reminders. All 20 participants attended the course
Planned delivery A checklist was used to determine whether the course materials and educational strategies were delivered as planned A checklist was used to determine whether the course materials and educational strategies were delivered as planned
Actual schedule The course was delivered as scheduled The course was scheduled in June 2016 but was delivered in August 2016 upon request from the DHO