EASIER: A new model for online learning of minimally invasive surgery skills

Ignacio Oropesa*, Luisa F. Sánchez-Peralta, Magdalena K. Chmarra, Krisztina Berner-Juhos, Calin Tiu, Christos Mettouris, José Blas Pagador, Joeri Post, Jenny Dankelman, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Introduction: Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) can provide the tools to safely master minimally invasive surgery (MIS) skills in patient-free environments and receive immediate objective feedback without the constant presence of an instructor. However, TEL-based systems tend to work isolated from one another, focus on different skills, and fail to provide contents without a sound pedagogical background. Objective: The objective of this descriptive study is to present in detail EASIER, an innovative TEL platform for surgical and interventional training, as well as the results of its validation. Methods: EASIER provides a Learning Management System (LMS) for institutions and content creators that can connect and integrate TEL “external assets” (virtual reality simulators, augmented box trainers, augmented videos, etc.) addressing different skills. The platform integrates all skills under an Assessment Module that measures skills’ progress in different courses. Finally, it provides content creators with a pedagogical model to scaffold contents while retaining flexibility to approach course design with different training philosophies in mind. Three courses were developed and hosted in the platform to validate it with end-users in terms of usability, performance, learning results in the courses and student self-perception on learning. Results: In total 111 volunteers completed the validation. The study was limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited access to external assets (virtual reality simulators). Nevertheless, usability was rated with 73.1 in the System Usability Scale. Most positive aspects on performance were easiness to access the platform, easiness to change the configuration and not requiring additional plug-ins to use the platform. The platform was rated above average in the six scales of the User Experience Questionnaire. Overall, student results improved significantly across the three courses (p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides, within its limitations, evidence on the usefulness of the EASIER platform for distance learning of MIS skills. Results show the potential impact of the platform and are an encouraging boost for the future, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105269
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Computer simulation
  • Distance
  • Education
  • Information and Communication Technologies Projects
  • Medical Education
  • Surgery
  • Training Simulation


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