Using Web 2.0 to Promote Clinical Research Training

We planned our international training program using the concepts of Web 2.0 as to enhance learning, communication and collaboration.

Our collaborative distance-learning training program is offered to participants from Boston and throughout the world. It is designed for individuals who wish to gain basic and advanced training in clinical trials before moving into the field and for those who have experience in this area and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials using innovative learning tools such as Wiki and web blogs.


Welcome 2014 PPCR Students from 26 International Sites and 30 Countries

We would like to welcome the 420 participants for our 2014 Principles and Practice of Clinical Research course. This year we have 26 international sites (click here to see the list of sites) and students from 30 countries in all continents.

Course Director and PPCR team first visit to our sites in Japan and alumni in South Korea

The course director, Prof. Felipe Fregni, together with other members of PPCR, officially visited for the first time our PPCR sites in Japan. The team met with the local site director, Dr. Keiko Ueda from Osaka, Japan and also Dr. Shunichi Fukuhara, the Dean of Kyoto University School of Public Health and PPCR site director of our Kyoto site, and several current students and alumni members. “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet in person our team in Japan and also to welcome the 2014 PPCR students who are very engaged in the course" - Prof Fregni commented. The PPCR team also met our PPCR alumni in South Korea in Ewaha Womans University where PPCR also has hosted a site in previous years.



Successful 2014 Workshops in Boston

As part of the PPCR program, we hosted the two summer workshops in Boston (2-day Study Coordinator Workshop and 2-Advanced Statistical Workshop). There was great interaction in these two workshops and they also provided a unique opportunity for PPCR participants to meet in person before our final workshop in Brazil (the 5-day workshop), where we will culminate the course activities.



Principles and Practice of Clinical Research

Our 9-month collaborative distance-learning main course on clinical research covers the basics of clinical research (such as: how to formulate a research question, select study population, randomization and blinding methods); statistical methods (data distribution and classification, statistical tests, sample size calculation, survival analysis, missing data and meta-analysis); data collection, monitoring and reporting (including training in manuscript writing); and study designs (observational studies, non-inferior and adaptive designs and randomized clinical trials).
This course starts in February 2015.→

Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen on prediction of how learning models will change in the near future.

HBS Professor Dr. Christensen published a book on how technology is changing education (“Disrupting Class”). In this book, he and co-authors Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson discuss how the Internet is changing the way we learn. In an interview with McGraw Hill Education, Dr. Christensen says, “We need to develop the ability to teach each student in a different way that is tailored to the way his brain is wired to learn. The only way this can be done is if learning is accomplished by a computer rather than a teacher standing in a monolithic mode. Computer-based learning is much more customizable to individual students’ styles and paces of learning”. We share this belief that the Internet and technology are transforming education and we use many of these principles to provide a blended method of live, synchronous and also asynchronous learning activities to maximize experience and also create a global platform for clinical research training.

"How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education"

In his book, "Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principle of Teaching Can Transform Education", David Perkins, Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, discusses the seven principles of learning. According to this author, learning should be a natural process as, for instance, when we learn how to play baseball. In order to achieve this, we should learn by "wholes" instead of learning by elements or parts. For example, when one is learning how to play a song, one sings the entire song. Therefore, according to this Harvard educator, there are seven learning principles: "1. Play the whole game; 2. Make the game worth playing; 3. Work on the hard parts; 4. Play out of town; 5. Uncover the hidden game; 6. Learn from the team...and the other teams; 7. Learn the game of learning".
We also believe that learning by “wholes” is a more natural and therefore efficient process. In particular, item 6 ("Learn from the team....and the other teams") is aligned with our basic educational method of collaborative learning. In fact, collaboration is the element that makes the principle of learning in this way possible.

Transforming Education Through Online Collaboration

Jonathan Michael Spector, a Professor in the Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology Department at the University of Georgia, has presented some of the basic principles to support and facilitate learning that are likely to have an impact on learning outcomes:


  • “Learning Principle (L) - learning is fundamentally about change
  • Experience Principle (E) - experience is the starting point for understanding
  • Context Principle (C) - context determines meaning
  • Integration Principle (I) - relevant contexts are broad and multi-faceted
  • Uncertainty Principle (U) - we know less than we are inclined to believe” (1)


We believe that our online collaborative methodology is aligned with these principles, as it creates a learning community that is based on group discussions and live sessions where participants can directly interact with the whole learning community. Furthermore, in this community, each student embarks on a learning journey in a specific context where they are encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences and understanding on the topics to be learned, cooperating and supporting each other’s learning process. Therefore, we believe that the kind of learning suggested here contributes toward changing education and supporting professional and personal development.
Source: (1)