Strides in Development of Medical Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. in Microbiology., Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Center for Research on Social Determinants of Health, School of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

2 Student of Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

3 Medical Student, School of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran


  Background & Objective: The core of each WBT system is an online software called learning management system (LMS) The existence of such a system in each university is the minimum requirement for the application and development of WBT methods The present study aimed to investigate the frequency of LMS usage in Iranian medical universities in comparison with the universities of developed countries   Methods: This descriptive crosssectional analysis was performed in 2014 The study population consisted of Iranian medical universities and the universities of 4 developed Englishspeaking countries including USA Canada Australia and UK From among the Iranian universities a total of 52 universities were selected using the census method Moreover 58 universities were randomly selected from among 450 wellknown universities of developed countries The data from LMS of Iranian medical universities were collected through visiting university websites telephone calls and in some cases facetoface interviews The data were analyzed by descriptive methods   Results: Of the 52 Iranian universities of medical sciences 33 universities (635%) did not have any LMSs for delivery courses in academic degree programs Of the 19 universities (365%) with LMSs Moodle ATutor Docebo and nativedesigned LMSs were found in 11 4 1 and 3 universities respectively In addition 16 Iranian universities used open source LMSs and 3 used commercial LMSs All 58 (100%) universities of developed countries used LMSs for delivery courses in their academic degree programs Blackboard Moodle Canvas Desire2learn and Sakai were used in 30 13 8 1 and 1 foreign universities respectively Moreover 2 universities were in transition stage and 3 universities used the Mooc system   Conclusion: Iran universities showed a considerable difference from universities in developed countries in terms of frequency of LMS usage Educational and IT administrators in Iran should fill this gap especially at high ranking universities


  1. Lim DH, Morris ML, Kupritz VW. Online vs. blended learning: differences in instructional outcomes and learner satisfaction. J Asynchronous Learn Networks. 2007; 11 (2): 27-42.
  2. Ketcham G, Landa K, Brown K, Charuk K, DeFranco T, Heise M, et al. Learning management systems review. [Cited 2011 Feb 14]. Available from:
  3. McGill TJ, Klobas JE. A task–technology fit view of learning management system impact. Comput Educ. 2009; 52(2):496–508.
  4. Rosenberg M. E-Learning: strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2001.
  5. Johannesen M. The role of virtual learning environments in a primary school context: An analysis of inscription of assessment practices. Br J Educ Technol. 2013; 44(2): 302-13.
  6. Szabo M. CMI theory and practice: historical roots of learning managment systems. World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education. 2002; 2002(1): 929-36.
  7. Unal Z, Unal A. Investigating and Comparing User Experiences of Course Management Systems: BlackBoard vs. Moodle. J Interactive Learn Res. 2014; 25(1), 101-123.
  8. Hill P. State of the Higher Education LMS Market: A Graphical View. [cited 2012 Sep 24]. Available from:
  9. Beatty B, Ulasewicz C. Faculty perspectives on moving from Blackboard to the Moodle learning management system. TechTrends. 2006; 50(4): 36-45.
  10. Burnham E. A Look at Learning Management Systems (LMS). [Cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from:
  11. Koutropoulos A. MOOCs in Higher Education: Options, Affordances, Pitfalls (Part 1). [Cited 2013 Jul 15]. Available from:
  12. Kellogg  S.  Online  learning:  How  to  make  a MOOC. Nature.  2013;  499(7458):  369-71.
  13. García-Peñalvo  FJ,  Conde  MÁ,  Alier  M, Casany  MJ.  Opening  learning  management systems  to  personal  learning  environments.  J Universal  Comput  Sci.  2011;  17(9):  1222-40.
  14. Chatti  MA,  Jarke  M,  Specht  M.  PLEF:  a conceptual  framework  for  mashup  personal learning environments. Learn Technol Newsletter.  2009;  11(3).