Table of Contents
Journal of Biomedical Education
Volume 2017, Article ID 9127978, 7 pages
Research Article

An Evaluation of Formative “In-Class” versus “E-Learning” Activities to Benefit Student Learning Outcomes in Biomedical Sciences

Discipline of Biomedical Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Sports, Health, Education and Engineering, Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, QLD, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Rebecca Donkin; ua.ude.csu@niknodr

Received 20 February 2017; Revised 6 July 2017; Accepted 3 August 2017; Published 13 September 2017

Academic Editor: Gary Velan

Copyright © 2017 Rebecca Donkin and Elizabeth Askew. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In conventional teaching, curriculum design that incorporates formative activities with prompt feedback is proven to have a positive effect on learning outcomes. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence that activities involving e-learning also have this positive effect and this is particularly the case within the discipline of hematopathology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of e-learning formative activities in hematopathology and to assess if, by using this resource, learning is enhanced. To address the research question, an e-learning module for anemia was developed to determine if it significantly increased knowledge, expressed by improved grades. Seventy-three students from health science programs that were enrolled in first-year hematology participated in the study. Students were encouraged to participate in two formative activities: one held in class and the other developed online as an e-learning module. Results showed a statistically significant increase in mean summative assessment score () and final grade () for students who completed the formative e-learning module. Interactive e-learning modules not only assist with engagement but also significantly improve grade outcomes. From this study, e-learning resources are an option for all educators but, in particular, those who have reduced face-to-face contact hours to teach the basic sciences.