Effectiveness of E-learning in Pharmacy Education

Sandra M. Salter, BPharm, PhD Candidate; Ajay Karia, BSc Hons Pharm; Frank M. Sanfilippo, PhD; Rhonda M. Clifford, PhD


Am J Pharm Educ. 2014;78(4) 

In This Article


E-learning has been studied as an instructional format across a range of pharmacy education topics and contexts for decades, yet until now there have been no reviews on the effectiveness of e-learning in pharmacy education. In this review, we found e-learning to be effective at increasing knowledge immediately after training for all topics and in all contexts. Therefore, we can generalize that e-learning in any context should improve knowledge. E-learning in pharmacy education was a highly acceptable instructional format for pharmacists and pharmacy students, although this measure of effectiveness, by its nature was assessed subjectively and is open to criticism. There is little evidence that e-learning improved skills or professional practice and no evidence that e-learning is effective at increasing knowledge long term. There is room for improvement in the quality of e-learning effectiveness research in pharmacy. Properly validated tools, follow-up research, and translational research are required to answer new questions about the effectiveness of e-learning in pharmacy education.