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Lessons learned from ten years of distance learning outreach.
The study tested the efficacy of providing distance learning with real-time videoconferencing to broaden high school student knowledge of health careers.
A pilot program was tried out and extended over ten years to include other schools in four different time zones and the National Library of Medicine. Survey results, site visits, and continued school participation were used as effectiveness indicators. Student ratings, site visits, and ongoing discussions were used to evaluate critical factors in the program.
Nine program factors contributed to success.
Synchronous communication can be effective for outreach to special populations given appropriate infrastructure, technology, program design, and implementation.