E-Learning in Medical Education SIG

Membership to Special Interest Groups is open to all APA members.
To join a SIG, click here

SIG Description

E-Learning is defined as any type of learning that is enabled or delivered to learners by Internets and Intranets or other types of computer networks. In recent years e-Learning environments have begun to incorporate web technology platforms to provide a simple and time flexible instructional delivery mode. The transition to online distance learning is creating a paradigm shift in the way health care professionals deliver instruction. Training is needed for the development of computer-based, alternative methods of course delivery and communication in medical education. The goal of the SIG for e-Learning in Medical Education is to help and encourage healthcare professionals to adopt new instructional delivery modes, to supplement or replace more traditional educational formats, and to identify teaching strategies that are time effective for their busy schedules. The SIG will also assist physicians and other healthcare professionals to select the best online teaching techniques, redesign their content and curriculum, incorporate self-directed, student-centered learning, and more effectively use computers to meet their learning objectives.

Mission and Vision

The SIG for e-Learning in Medical Education is a forum for medical educators with an interest in the use of e-Learning to support teaching and learning. With support from the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) this SIG is an opportunity for APA members to network, share ideas, resources, and experiences in the development and use of e-Learning in medical education. The SIG will enable members to keep up to date with national e-Learning initiatives and potential funding opportunities as well as provide support for help and advice to effectively design, develop, teach and evaluate online courses. Annual meetings will take place at the PAS annual conference, and on-demand meetings will be conducted online using available technologies.


Objectives of the SIG for e-Learning in Medical Education are to:

  • Provide expertise and training to medical educators to effectively design, develop, teach and evaluate online courses, as well as to convert existing teaching materials into a format appropriate for e-Learning.
  • Educate APA members/healthcare professionals transition from traditional methodologies to student-centered, interactive online learning through conference workshops and meetings.
  • Encourage healthcare professionals to take advantage of the benefits of a digital world.
  • Establish a sustainable and expanding e-Learning network of medical educators to share knowledge and experience and showcase innovative practice and development.
  • Share latest developments, e-Learning technologies and ideas on the e-Learning SIG listserv.
  • Participate in educational activities to establish a common baseline understanding of e-Learning technologies and applications.
  • Establish best practice standards for the development of new online learning modules and encourage research to examine the effectiveness of e-Learning.
  • Keep abreast of current online programs and review national and international developments in e-learning.

Michal Cidon, MD (Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford)
Traci Wolbrink, MD MPH (Boston Children's Hospital)

SIG purpose/mission: Our e-Learning SIG mission is to create a supportive network for medical professionals with an interest in e-learning and exploring hands-on practical ways to implement e-learning in their own institutions.

Current SIG goals:

  • Provide a forum for educational opportunities that will help enhance learning through collaborative expertise and leadership in technology integrated learning.
  • Facilitate scholarly projects about e-learning in medical education.

Annual summary:

  • Description/agenda of the PAS SIG meeting held: Here is the agenda for our e-Learning SIG in Medical Education for the year 2016.


Date:  Saturday, April 30, 2016
Time:  8:30 am -11:30AM
Session: E-Learning in Medical Education (1278) Location: Baltimore Convention Centre (Room# 334)
 Meeting #8


2016 e-Learning SIG Agenda Items

8:30 – 8:45am

Welcome, introduction, and overview of e-Learning SIG Activities
(Presenters: Michal Cidon, MD; Traci Wolbrink MD)

8:45 – 9:15am

Title: Learning Analytics to Predict Learners Success
(Presenters: Kadriye O. Lewis, Ed.D
Description: Learning analytics is the use of intelligent data, learner-produced data, and analysis models to measure learners' success, discover information and social connections, and to predict certain outcomes and/or to support the existing educational models. The presenter will introduce the concept of learning analytics and what it means for medical education.

  • How can we use behavioral data from academic technologies and other conventional data sources to improve learner achievement?
  • How can learning analytics fit in medical education in the concept of instructional design, and assessment of learning?

9:15 - 9:45am

Title: Medical Educator ePortfolios
(Presenter: Jacqueline Walker, MD)
Description: With the current movement in evidence based professional practice, medical educators have recognized the value of portfolios as an appropriate tool for assessing professional growth and for promoting reflective skills to enhance professional competency. This presentation will provide an overview of the role of  eportfolios in supporting professional development in medical practice.

9:45 - 9:55am

Break (10 minutes)

9:55am- 10:25am

Title: Serious Gaming in Medical Education
(Presenter: Traci Wolbrink, MD MPH)
Description: Serious gaming is an emerging new tool in medical education, and is especially suited for the Millennial learner. Serious gaming actively engages the adult learner, allows control of learning pace and timing, provides directed feedback, and leverages cognitive motivations inherent in games. This presentation will provide an overview of serious gaming, describe some of the key features making serious gaming especially appealing to adult learners, and demonstrate several examples of serious games for medical education.

10:25 - 11:25am

e-Learning SIG Sponsored Workshop

Title:  E-Learning support technologies for motivating, incentivizing, gamification, and enhancing the situation awareness of online learners
(Presenters: Jeffrey Sestokas, M.Ed)
Description: Web‐based medical education is often housed in online learning management systems that provide different informatics and reporting capabilities for students and educators to view scoring and overall user performance. Open source learning management systems allow educators to completely customize their online training environment to not only host interactive activities and resources, but provides tailoring ability for situation awareness and motivation enhancement for learners through the use of participant ranking widgets, progress bar dashboards, game leveling conditions, and badging systems. In this workshop, participants will learn and be able to use various open source e‐Learning plugins for incentivizing, gamifying, and informing learners within an open source learning management system.

11:25 - 11:30am

Wrap-Up and Closing

  • Number of participants at the meeting: We had over 50 attendees at our SIG meeting this year (2016).
  • Evaluation of annual SIG meeting by members: Our annual meeting uses the conference evaluation forms. Overall we received verbal feedback that participants enjoyed the session and were looking forward to a future venue and a connection that will further build on this SIG meeting's agenda. We are looking to receive further feedback about the SIG session from the APA.
  • Description of additional SIG meetings with information including items a-c. (if applicable)

We are trying to reach our audience via our newsletters. We produced two newsletters (Summer 2015; Spring  2016). These newsletters were published at the APA website.

  • Accomplishments of the SIG from the previous year.

We introduced a new Co-Chair, Traci Wolbrink  MD and currently recruiting Jeffrey Sestokas, M. Ed as the third Co-Chair
Our e-Learning SIG has been productive. We planned and organized the annual SIG meetings for PAS. We coordinated and recruited presenters for three separate presentations and a workshop at the PAS meeting in Baltimore.
SIG sponsored workshop(s): E-Learning support technologies for motivating, incentivizing, gamification, and enhancing the situation awareness of online learners

Jeffrey Sestokas discussed how does one use various open source e‐Learning plugins for incentivizing, gamifying, and informing learners within an open source learning management system.

  • SIG sponsored presentations: 1). Kadriye Lewis presented how can we use behavioral data from academic technologies and other conventional data sources to improve learner achievement;  2). Traci Wolbrink presented how we use behavioral data from academic technologies and other conventional data sources to improve learner achievement; and 3). Jacqueline Walker demonstrated how ePortfolios are used to support professional development in medical practice.
  • SIG sponsored manuscripts: none
  • List of SIG members who participated in workshop or abstract review: Kelly Clancy, Kadriye O. Lewis, Kathy Boutis, Dorothy Chu, Jennifer Dilts, Priya Gopwani, Susan Hathaway, Panchanathan Sarada. Martin Pusic, Jeffey Sestokas, Gautham Suresh, Patty Vitale

f.    Documentation of how SIG funds were utilized
We used $6.00 to make copies for the SIG session.

Other groups that work in your area of interest: APPD, COMSEP, GME

April 2017 Newsletter Article


Daylight savings time has officially arrived.  Around the corner is our eighth annual e-Learning SIG meeting. This year our SIG meeting is in San Francisco, home of the first cable car, the crookedest street in the world, and the Giants. We are excited to share with you our SIG e-learning agenda with a variety of speakers and topics.          
Agenda for 2017 e-Learning SIG

Date:   Sunday, May 7, 2017
Time:   8:00 am -11:00AM
Course Number: E-Learning in Medical Education (2234)
Location:  Marriott Marquis (Pacific Suite I)

  • Michal Cidon, MD
  • Jeff Sestokas, M.Ed
  • Traci Wolbrink, MD MPH


2017 e-Learning SIG Agenda Items

8:00 – 8:20am

Welcome, introduction, and interactive experience to gather e-learning experience
(Presenter: Michal Cidon, MD)

8:20 – 8:40am

Title: Health Professionals Education Challenges
(Presenter: Traci Wolbrink, MD MPH)
Description: In this presentation, the presenter will discuss some of the current challenges facing health professional educators and describe emerging solutions.

8:40 – 9:10am

Title: Four levels of Multimedia Design
(Presenter: Jeff Sestokas, M.Ed)
Description: In this presentation, the presenter will provide an overview of four levels of learner-centered interaction and how this paradigm plays a role in sophisticated eLearning design. Further, the presenter will show examples of how different levels of interactive experiences allow learners to passively absorb information and actively practice along a continuum of engaged skill acquisition for long-term knowledge retention and real world operation.

Back to Newsletter

e-Learning Resources
About e-Learning



The Rapid e-Learning Blog

Online Journals
The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning

Online journal of Distance Learning Administration

BMJ Journal

Medical Education Online (MEO)

Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

The Internet Journal of Pathology

Annals of Internal Medicine

Innovate: Journal of Online Education

The Journal of Educators Online (JEO)

The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN)

Dermatology Online Journal

Events and Conferences:
The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning

Policy and Guidelines
The Importance of Policies in E-Learning Instruction

Previous Newsletters

Current SIG Co-Chairs:

Michal Cidon, MD
4650 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) -36-2119

Traci Wolbrink, MD, MPH
987 South St
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: (617) 355-7327



Renew Membership

Join APA


APA Journal