Design and First Impressions of a Small Private Online Course in Clinical Workplace Learning: Questionnaire and Interview Study

Esther C. Hamoen*, Peter G.M. De Jong, Floris M. Van Blankenstein, Marlies E.J. Reinders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Clinical workplace learning takes place in a dynamic and complex learning environment that is designated as a site for patient care and education. Challenges in clinical training can be overcome by implementing blended learning, as it offers flexible learning programs suitable for student-centered learning, web-based collaboration, and peer learning. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the Small Private Online Course (SPOC) by interns' first impressions and satisfaction measures (N=20) on using the SPOC. This study describes the design process of a SPOC from a theoretical and practical perspective and how it has been integrated into a clinical internship in internal medicine. Methods: The design of the SPOC was based on general theoretical principles that learning should be constructive, contextual, collaborative, and self-regulated, and the self-determination theory to stimulate intrinsic motivation. Interns' impressions and level of satisfaction were evaluated with a web-based questionnaire and group interview. Results: Interns thought the web-based learning environment to be a useful and accessible alternative to improve knowledge and skills. Peer learning and web-based collaboration through peer interaction was perceived as less effective, as student feedback was felt inferior to teacher feedback. The interns would prefer more flexibility within the course, which could improve self-regulated learning and autonomy. Conclusions: The evaluation shows that the SPOC is a useful and accessible addition to the clinical learning environment, providing an alternative opportunity to improve knowledge and skills. Further research is needed to improve web-based collaboration and interaction in our course.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29624
JournalJMIR Medical Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by an educational grant of Leiden University (project reference 4020522012). The authors wish to thank Franka Luk and Manon Zuurmond for their contribution to this study and illustrations, and Mandy Segers for her assistance in finalizing the manuscript revisions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 JMIR Publications Inc.. All right reserved.


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