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Evaluation of eLearning outcomes- experience from an online Psychotherapy education programme

Blackmore, Chris, Tantam, Digby and van Deurzen, Emmy (2008) Evaluation of eLearning outcomes- experience from an online Psychotherapy education programme. Open Learning: the journal of Open and Distance Learning, 23 (3). pp. 185-201. ISSN 0268-0513

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SEPTIMUS is a one-year Europe-wide postgraduate theoretical course for psychotherapists and counselors provided entirely via the internet. It may be used as part of a training course, with face to face elements provided locally, or for continuing professional development. The course was developed at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with psychotherapy training institute partners in seven other European countries. Two studies involving 167 SEPTIMUS students and 60 comparable face-to-face students were undertaken. Study 1- Drop-out rates for the SEPTIMUS programme were found to be low, and comparison between those dropping out and those completing did not highlight any significant factors linked to distance learning. However, students cited Finance, Distance from training centre, Lack of practical experience, Family commitments and the Intensity of their working weeks as having been barriers to taking face-to-face learning courses in the past. Study 2- SEPTIMUS students (eLearners) were compared with students taking comparable attending (face-to-face) theoretical courses also being provided by partners in the project to psychotherapy trainees. Significant differences were found in Distance from training institute and Ability to visit training institute. SEPTIMUS students had higher levels of Computer ownership, Frequency of internet use and IT skills than attenders; these factors when examined in study 1 did not have an impact on the drop-out rate of eLearners. eLearning can overcome barriers to traditional learning in psychotherapy, particularly distance from a training centre, without loss of student satisfaction or student performance. Factors sometimes thought to be obstacles to eLearning, such as IT skills, were not found to be significant barriers, although may have affected recruitment. Certain aspects of eLearning, such as the tendency to facilitate self-disclosure, were found to be very beneficial particularly in the context of psychotherapy programmes.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 The Open University. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'Open Learning: the journal of Open and Distance Learning'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdf This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
Keywords: eLearning, Face-to-face learning, Drop-out rate, Barriers to learning, Self-disclosure
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield) > Health Services Research (Sheffield)
Funding Information:
FunderGrant number
Leonardo da VinciUK/01/B/F/PP/129_387, 2000-2003
Depositing User: Mr Chris Blackmore
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2010 16:36
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 11:43
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680510802420027
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1080/02680510802420027
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10277

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