Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify the needs and expectations of learners and educational experts in postgraduate medical e-learning, and to contribute to the current literature.
Methods: We performed four focus-group discussions with e-learning end-users (learners) and didactic experts. The participants were postgraduate learners with varying levels of experience, educational experts from a Dutch e-learning task group, and commercial experts from a Dutch e-learning company. Verbatim transcribed interview recordings were analyzed using King's template analysis. The initial template was created with reference to recent literature on postgraduate medical e-learning quality indicators. The transcripts were coded, after which the emerging differences in template interpretation were discussed until a consensus was reached within the team.
Results: The final template consisted of three domains of positive e-learning influencers (motivators, learning enhancers, and real-world translation) and three domains of negatively influential parameters (barriers, learning discouragers, and poor preparation). The interpretation of the final template showed three subjects which form the basis of e-learning, namely, Motivate, Learn and Apply.
Conclusions: This study forms a basis for learning in general and could be applied to many educational instruments. Individual characteristics should be adapted to the target audience. Three subjects form the basis of, and six themes cover all items needed for, good (enough) postgraduate e-learning. Further research should be carried out with learners and real-world e-learning to validate this template.