Strides in Development of Medical Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. in Medical Education, Librarianship & Medical Informatics dept., Paramedical School, Tehran Medical sciences University, Iran

2 Ph.D. in Teaching Philosophy, Associate professor of Education Dept., Humanistic School Payam-e-Noor University, Iran

3 Ph.D. in Distance learning Manegment, Associate professor of Education Dept., Humanistic School Payam-e-Noor University, Iran

4 Ph.D. in Psychology, Associate Professor of Psychology Dept., Humanistic School Payam-e-Noor University, Iran

5 Subspecialist in Oncology, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine Dept., Medical School, Tehran University of Medical sciences, Iran.

6 Subspecialist in Pathology, Assistant Professor of Pathology Dept., Medical School, Tehran University of Medical sciences, Iran.


Background & Objective: As enrollment in virtual online courses continues to grow one of the stakeholders concerns is the enhancement of critical thinking in students This study was performed in order to answer this core question: what are the barriers and facilitating factors of critical thinking in virtual environment? Methods: This qualitative study is part of a mixed qualitative and quantitative study performed for developing the process of teaching critical thinking in virtual medical education program in which 7 eteachers and 11 postgraduate estudents (out of a total of 12 students) of virtual medical education discipline were investigated Data were gathered using a semistructured questionnaire All interviews were taperecorded transcribed and then analyzed using Strauss and Corbins constant comparative method Results: Participants had a variety of experiences about critical thinking improvement that were conceptualized in three major themes of: belief system including personal beliefs and aspects that are considered as constant during a short time period educational management including factors that can be manipulated by the educational leaders and critical thinking in virtual environment including motivating and limiting factors of critical thinking Conclusion: The results of this study highlight the barriers and facilitating factors of enhancing critical thinking in virtual environment Teachers educational planners and leaders can use the results of this study in order to improve their virtual programs and students critical thinking


  1. Palloff RM, Pratt K. The virtual student: A profile and guide to working with online learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2003.
  2. Rosenberg, MJ. Beyond E-Learning: Approaches and Technologies. San Francisco: Pfeiffer; 2006.
  3. Horton W. E-Learning by Design. San Francisco: Pfeiffer; 2006.
  4. Garrison DR, Anderson T. E-Learning in the 21st Century. London: Rutledge Flamer; 2004.
  5. World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Basic Medical Education, WFME Global standards for quality improvement. World Conference, the Federation urges the medical education. Denmark: University of Copenhagen; 2003.
  6. Abd Hagh Z. [Comparison of critical thinking between freshmen and senior postgraduate and undergraduate students of midwifery]. [Dissertation]. Tehran: Tehran University of Medical Sciences; 2004. [In Persian]
  7. Bahmanp Pour K. [The effects of PBL in critical thinking skills, critical thinking disposition and attitude of undergraduate students of nursing]. [Dissertation]. Tehran: Tehran University of Medical Sciences; 2003. [In Persian]
  8. Hosseini SA, Bahrami M. [Comparison of critical thinking between freshmen and senior B.S. students]. IJME 2002; 6(2): 21-5. [In Persian]
  9. Gharib M. [The relationship of critical thinking skills and critical thinking dispositions of postgraduate students]. [Dissertation]. Tehran: Iran University of Medical Sciences; 2007. [In Persian]
  10. Gharib M, Rabieian M, Salsali M, Hadjizadeh E, Sabouri Kashani A, Khalkhali H. [Critical thinking skills and critical thinking dispositions in freshmen and senior students of Health Care Management]. IJME 2009; 9(2): 125-35. [In Persian]
  11. Jin G, Bierma TJ, Broadbear J. Critical thinking among environmental health undergraduates and implications for the profession. J Environ Health 2004; 64 (3):15-21.
  12. Profetto-McGrath J. The relationship of critical thinking skills and critical thinking dispositions of baccalaureate nursing students. J Adv Nurs 2003; 43(6): 569-77.
  13. Miller DL. Longitudinal assessment of critical thinking in pharmacy students. Am J Pharma Educ 2003; 67 (4): 890-7
  14. Tiwari A, Avery A, Lai P. Critical thinking disposition of Hong Kong Chinese and Australian nursing students. J Adv Nurs 2003; 44(3): 298-307.
  15. Zettergren KK, Beckett R. Changes in critical thinking scores: An examination of one group of physical therapist students. J Physical Therapy Educ 2004; 18(2): 73-80
  16. Hassan Pour M, Haghdoost SF, Salsali M. [The threats of critical thinking development in nursing education]. Proceeding of 9th National Congress on Medical Education. Journal of Shaheed Sadoughi University of Medical Science 2008; 15(5): 246. [In Persian]
  17. Hassan Pour M. [Critical Thinking process in nursing education]. [Dissertation]. Tehran: Iran University of Medical Sciences; 2008. [In Persian]
  18. Myrick F, Yonge O. Enhancing critical thinking in the preceptorship experience in nursing education. J Adv Nurs 2004; 45(4): 371-80.
  19. Varga L. Exploring critical-care nurses’ perceptions about critical thinking. [Dissertation]. Ontario: Faculty of education, Brock University; 2007
  20. Schiftler CC. Faculty Participation in Asynchronous learning networks: A case study of motivating and inhibiting factors. JALN 2000; 4(1): 15-21.
  21. Guiller J, Durndell A, Ross A. Peer interaction and critical thinking: Face to face or online discussion? Learn Instruc 2008; 18(2): 187-200.
  22. Richardson J, Ice P. Investigating students’ level of critical thinking across instructional strategies in online discussions. Internet High Educ 2010; 13(1-20): 52-9
  23. De Leng BA, Dolmans DHJM, Jöbsis R, Muijtjens AMM, Van Der CPM. Exploration of an e-learning model to foster critical

thinking on basic science concepts during work placement. Comput Educ 2009; 53(1): 1-13.

  1. Basset C. Qualitative research in health care. London: Whurr Publishers; 2004
  2. Grebich C. Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London: Sage publications; 2007.
  3. Hansen EC. Successful qualitative health research: A practical introduction. Berkshire: Open University Press; 2006
  4. Yamani N, Javad Liaghatdar M, Changiz T, Adibi P. [How do medical students learn professionalism during clinical education? A qualitative study of faculty Members' and Interns’ experiences]. IJME 2010; 9(4): 382-95. [In Persian]
  5. Wilmot A. Designing sampling strategies for qualitative social research: With particular reference to the office for national statistics’ qualitative respondent register. London: Office for national statistics, published papers and reports; 2005.
  6. Hooman HA. [Handbook of qualitative research]. Tehran: SAMT; 2007. [In Persian]
  7. Wood KJ. Critical Thinking: Cases in respiratory care. Philadelphia: F.A.Davis Company; 1998.
  8. Hergenhan BR, Olson MH. Seif AA (Translator). [An Introduction to Theories of Learning].. Tehran: Dowran; 2004. [In Persian]
  9. Meyers C. Abili Kh (Translator). [Teaching Students to Think Critically]. Tehran: SAMT; 2007. [In Persian]
  10. Jarvis P. Sarmad GA (Translator). [Adult and Continuing Education]. Tehran: SAMT; 2002. [In Persian]
  11. Paul R. Critical Thinking in Every Domain of Knowledge and belief. Available from: URL: http:// / page. cfm?PageID=698&CategoryID=68
  12. GardnerJ. Belief System. Available from: URL: http:// www. Cognitive behavior. com/ theory/ beliefsystems. Html
  13. Brewer EW, DeJonge JO, Stout VJ. Mashayekh F, Bazargan A (Translators). [Moving to online; Making the transition from traditional instruction and communication strategies]. Tehran: Agah Publishing; 2004. [In Persian]