Virtual Knowledge Production within a Physician Educational Outreach Program




Househ, Mowafa Said
Kushniruk, Andre W.
Maclure, Malcolm
Carleton, Bruce
Cloutier, Denise

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Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong


This paper describe the impacts and lessons learned of using conferencing technologies to support knowledge production activities within an academic detailing group. A three year case study was conducted in which 20 Canadian health professionals collaborated on developing educational outreach materials for family physicians. The groups communicated in face-to-face, teleconferencing, and web-conferencing environments. Data was collected over three years (2004-2007) and consisted of structured interviews, meeting transcripts, and observation notes. The analysis consisted of detailed reviews and comparisons of the data from the various sources. The results revealed several key findings on the on the impacts of conferencing technologies on knowledge production activities of academic detailers. The study found that: 1) The rigid communication structures of web-conferencing forced group members to introduce other tools for communication 2) Group discussions were perceived to be more conducive in face-to-face meetings and least conducive teleconferencing meetings; 3) Web-conferencing had an impact on information sharing; 4) Web-conferencing forces group interaction “within the text”. The study demonstrates the impacts and lessons learned of academic detailing groups collaborating at a distance to produce physician education materials. The results can be used as the bases for future research and as a practical guide for collaborative academic detailing groups working within a virtual collaborative and educational environment.



Conferencing technologies, Web-conferencing, Distance education


Househ, M. et al. 2011, "Virtual Knowledge Production within a Physician Educational Outreach Program." Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal, Vol.3, No.1, pp. 24-34.