This article was published in Medical Teacher online on 26 October 2012. E-mail Michael Tam [ m.tam (at) unsw.edu.au ] for a copy or more information.
Background: E-learning is part of the mainstream in medical education and often provides the most efficient and effective means of engaging learners in a particular topic. However, translating design and content ideas into a useable product can be technically challenging, especially in the absence of information technology (IT) support. There is little published literature on the use of web 2.0 services to build e-learning activities.
Aim: To describe the web 2.0 tools and solutions employed to build the GP Synergy evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal online course.
Methods: We used and integrated a number of free web 2.0 services including: Prezi, a web-based presentation platform; YouTube, a video sharing service; Google Docs, a online document platform; Tiny.cc, a URL shortening service; and WordPress, a blogging platform.
Results: The course consisting of five multimedia-rich, tutorial-like modules was built without IT specialist assistance or specialised software. The web 2.0 services used were free. The course can be accessed with a modern web browser.
Conclusions: Modern web 2.0 services remove many of the technical barriers for creating and sharing content on the internet. When used synergistically, these services can be a flexible and low-cost platform for building e-learning activities. They were a pragmatic solution in our context.