Learning Assessment of a Videoconference-Based Training: Lessons from Medical Training between USA and Ethiopia
This study looks at videoconference-based training for medical professionals. Four videoconference locations in the USA were connected to a videoconference center in Ethiopia to provide HIV/AIDS training for medical professionals. The training was conducted for 6 weeks. The overall research question guiding this study was: Can videoconferencing serve as an effective medium to facilitate training between high- and low-income countries? The study addresses participants' perception of videoconferencing as a potential training medium. Furthermore, the study explores implications of the training using communities of practice theory. Constraining and promoting factors for videoconferencing were identified from communication media choice and systems analysis and design theories. Survey questionnaires and open-ended questions were used to collect data. The findings show promise for videoconference-based training that can bridge the knowledge gap in low-income countries by linking them with high-income countries. We also found support for communities of practice attributes including access to experts, knowledge transfer, sharing experience, and sense of community. The paper concludes with three lessons learned with implications for research and practice including cultural context, IT infrastructure, and sustainable community of practice.