MammographyOnline: An evaluation of an online mammography education program for radiographers

Debra Kiegaldie, Louise Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: In Australia, the gold standard for post graduate education in mammography is the Certificate of Clinical Proficiency in Mammography (CCPM) awarded by the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT). The award has two components -academic and clinical. This paper reports on the experiences of the first online offering of the academic component, MammographyOnline (MO), by BreastScreen Victoria, Australia. Online learning is well established in health professional education at all levels of learning, however evaluation is essential to ensure its effectiveness and inform future development. Methods: Consenting course participants completed module evaluations, and pre and post program evaluations. Course planners (n = 5) attended a 1-h focus group about the development process. Placement supervisors (n = 3) took part in a 30 min semi-structured telephone interview, identifying views of graduate performance. Survey data and rating scales were analysed descriptively. Qualitative data from surveys and interviews underwent content analysis. Results: Course participants found the content of MO to be beneficial but highlighted technical issues and suggested improvements for more interactive methods of delivery. Enablers to the program's development identified by course planners, included having experienced and knowledgeable staff on-board, appropriate project management processes, and management support. Challenges expressed by course planners included staffing for the duration of the project and the burden of time and finances, though all perceived they had produced a high quality, relevant and comprehensive online programme. Supervisors recognised that MO fulfilled the requirements of the academic component of the CCPM but did not supersede the need for the clinical component. Conclusions: Despite numerous challenges associated with its development, the overwhelming view of learners, developers and supervisors was that MO is a high quality academic program of learning, that provides the theory to support and prepare radiographers for their future clinical practice. Some refinement of content, assessment tasks and technical features are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-589
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Education (distance) (professional)
  • Health informatics
  • Health information technology
  • Mammography

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