ABSTRACT: Does the order of presentation and number of online resources affect the frequency of access by learners?
Provision of web-based resources is a valuable addition to face-to-face teaching in a blended learning environment.
To understand how both order of presentation and number of online resources impacts on the frequency of access by learners in postgraduate vocational training in general practice.
Information was collected on how many times individual online resources were accessed. Data regarding access rates for 15 separate topics used in postgraduate general practice vocational training were aggregated. Analysis was on the basis of order of presentation where the mean of percentages of hits by order of presentation with standard deviations was calculated.
The first four listed resources were accessed at a higher rate than the remainder of the resources. All resources after the first four were accessed at a relatively uniform low rate.
It would appear that providing more than four resources per topic is associated with learner overload. The number of online resources to support face-to-face teaching should be limited to four. Resource material needs to be carefully considered in terms of how it adds educational value. The ability of resource material to present a different perspective on a topic and adherence to both curriculum and assessment objectives are important considerations.