Practical recommendations for planning and running live online education workshops for the rural health workforce

Adele Evans, Jacqueline Priestly, Megan Suthern, Monica Whelan, Sheree Robertson, Olivia Kelly, Syed Haris Omar, John Preddy

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Aim: This commentary presents practical and evidenced based guidelines for the development and delivery of real-time online training workshops aimed at rural health professionals. Context: Online learning is increasingly being used as an avenue for delivering education, particularly to rural and remote sites where barriers persist in upskilling health workers. Further, online learning has become essential during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In response to the Australian 2020 COVID-19 social distancing requirements, our team rapidly transformed face-to-face educational workshops into an online format, to deliver over 20 workshops to more than 150 multidisciplinary staff across our large rural district. Approach: There are no published guidelines regarding the conversion of face-to-face education programs into an online format within health care. We conducted a review of the literature regarding the implementation of online education programs. Three broad categories of evidence were identified: participant qualities, content development and content deliverance. Conclusion: We present a set of practical and evidenced based recommendations, which will enhance live online workshops for a rural health workforce. These recommendations are derived both from published literature and our experience delivering our workshops. We argue that rural health professionals and organisations need relevant, up-to-date practical guidelines and more institutional support and training focused on creating and implementing live online educational programs in rural Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number1
Early online date16 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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