John Kucsera, Dawn Zimmaro (2010) Comparing the Effectiveness of Intensive and Traditional Courses

The present study investigated differences in the effectiveness of instructors from a variety of departments who taught the same course in both intensive and traditional formats within the same year, while controlling for many confounding variables. Results indicated that intensive courses did not significantly differ from traditional courses in overall instructor ratings on student evaluations of teaching effectiveness when confounding variables were taken into account. Conversely, intensive courses received significantly higher overall course ratings on student evaluations than did traditional courses, even after controlling for class size and probable grade in course. These findings provide further evidence that negative beliefs concerning intensive courses may be unjustified, and intensive courses may be as or more effective than those presented in traditional formats.

Kenneth J Harwood, Paige L Mc Donzld, Joan T Butler, Daniela Drago, Karen S Schlumpf (2018) Comparing student outcomes in traditional vs intensive, online graduate programs in health professional education

Results: The results demonstrated no significant differences for four applicable items on the final student course evaluations (p values range from 0.127 to 1.00) between semester long and intensive course formats. Similarly, student performance scores for final assignment and final grades showed no significant differences (p = 0.35 and 0.690 respectively) between semester long and intensive course formats

Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that 7-week and 15-week online courses can be equally effective with regard to student satisfaction and performance outcomes. While further study is recommended, academic programs should consider intensive online course formats as an alternative to semester long online course formats.

Mario Scheib, Sophie-Charlotte Adler (2021) Comparing Balint Groups as Face-to-face and as Online Events 

Abstract: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many medical training and further education events have been converted to online seminars. This raises the question of whether the same quality outcome can be achieved with this type of event, as with face-to-face events. This is particularly true for Balint groups, where a high degree of interaction takes place and non-verbal communication between the group participants also plays a big part. Balint groups as face-to-face events have an increased risk of infection for the participants and are no longer approved by many employers to avoid staff shortages due to doctors falling ill. In the anonymous survey of participants from different groups, the evaluation by the on-line participants actually showed advantages, compared to a face-to-face event. The online format even leads to doctors who would normally not be able to attend a Balint group now taking advantage of this training. Balint groups can therefore be a support in doctors‘ work, especially in situations of great workload – as in the current pandemic. Disadvantages of this format are clearly outweighed by the advantages. The results suggest that, online Balint groups and face-to-face events should continue to be offered simultaneously and the outcomes should be further investigated. 

Ulrich Roth, Astrid Holch (2021) Converting Balint into online


The online format of a Balint Group was thoroughly analyzed to better understand the differences to the face-to-face group. Due to a Covid-19 lockdown an established fa- ce-to-face group was converted to an online-format. Findings underwent an in-depth interpretive phenomenological analysis, comparing similarities and especially diffe- rences in the format, the group process and contributions. The online group seems to partly miss social and dimensional space, while the general setting continues. In com- parison to the face-to-face group, a loss of body and projective phenomena is observed with reduced non-verbal, subliminal communication and reduced negative capability. The online format could possibly be adjusted on special terms yet to be defined. Ne- vertheless, the online Balint Group maintains the underlying Balint Group goals. In conclusion, online Balint Groups continue Balint work under changed circumstances. They maintain the required professional education and self-experience. Online Balint Group could be a means to save time and energy resources.

Raphael Kunisch, Peter Zimmermann, Natalie Berges, Malte Nitzschke, Felix Schweiger, Mira Seidl, Marc Weidenbusch (2021)

Learning in peer teaching of patient relations and communication skills at the “Anamnesegruppen” Munich – proof-of-concept and lessons learned

Results: By switching to digital anamnesis groups, all four groups were successfully completed. Both the final supervision of the tutors and the electronic evaluation of the participants yielded positive feedback. Compared to the two previous evaluations of the semesters in classroom sessions, there were no significant differences in the evaluation.

Discussion: The continuously good evaluation results, which did not differ between the digital format and the classroom course of the previous semesters, show that an ad hoc conversion to digital teaching is possible. We want to stress the fact that elements reflecting the doctor-patient relationship were successfully preserved. For the similarly structured Balint groups, virtual sessions may also be considered. Further research, especially prospective, is desirable in order to better understand the possibilities of digital teaching in this area.


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