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Internet-based instruction effective

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ROCHESTER, Minn., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Internet-based education generally is effective and compared favorably to traditional instructional methods, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Dr. David Cook, who practices general internal medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., worked with researchers from Mayo and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, to review more than 200 studies concerning Internet-based instruction for healthcare professionals.

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"Our findings suggest that Internet-based instruction is an effective way to teach healthcare professionals," Cook said in a statement. "We now can confirm that, across a wide variety of learners, learning contexts, clinical topics, and learning outcomes, Internet-based instruction can be as effective as traditional methods."

The review, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that Internet-based instruction has unique advantages, including flexible scheduling, adaptability of instruction and readily available content that is easily updated.

"As healthcare workers balance challenging practice demands, the ever-expanding volume of medical knowledge requires us to find more effective, efficient ways to learn," Cook said. "Internet-based instruction will be an important part of the solution."

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