A rapid review of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of synchronous online learning in an occupational context

Publication type
Journal article
Robson LS, Irvin E, Padkapayeva K, Begum M, Zukowski M
Date published
2022 May 01
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Open Access?

BACKGROUND: This study examined the effectiveness of synchronous online learning (SOL) for occupational purposes relative to face-to-face (F2F) learning. METHODS: Seven bibliographic databases were searched, and publications meeting the inclusion criteria were sought. Title and abstract screening, article screening, methodological quality assessment, and data extraction were carried out by two independent reviewers. RESULTS: Three systematic reviews meeting the inclusion criteria were consistent in providing evidence that there was generally no difference between SOL and F2F learning in their effects on knowledge or skills. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the sparse evidence base examined in this review, we conclude that SOL and traditional F2F learning for occupational or career preparation purposes are similarly effective for learners at the undergraduate level or higher. Much caution should be taken with this assumption when delivering content of a more hands-on nature and when adult learners have less educational preparation, since research is lacking in these areas